LAFD Honors Three At Promotion Ceremony

Los Alamos Fire Department personnel, from left, James Thwaites promoted to Safety Division Chief, Matt Munoz promoted to Captain and Sam Meyersick promoted to Driver/Engineer await the start of the promotion ceremony Monday at Station 3 in White Rock. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

Kailey Thwaites pins a badge on her dad, Los Alamos Fire Department Safety Division Chief James Thwaites as her mom, Katie Thwaites and Deputy Chief Steve Dawald look on. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

 
By MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos Daily Post

The Los Alamos County Fire Department celebrated three promotions Monday morning with a ceremony at Station 3 in White Rock.

Chief Troy Hughes congratulated James Thwaites who was promoted to Safety Division Chief, Matt Munoz who was promoted to Captain and Sam Meyersick who was promoted to Driver/Engineer.

Chief Hughes conveyed how important each position is to the Department beginning with the driver/engineer who has to make sure fire trucks are ready to go.

“Everybody who’s on that truck depends on that truck being in working condition. When they go to get a chain saw to cut down a tree that might save somebody’s life, or get that hose line or pump it, it has to work right. The driver/engineer’s position is very, very important,” he said. “As a captain, you oversee that driver and those firefighters so even more people become part of your purview, who you watch out for. And then as a chief, Chief Thwaites is Chief of our Safety Division so he is really charged with keeping all 150 members of our Department safe and making sure they are protected and have good equipment.”

He said the one thing he would ask the three men is that as they climb that next ladder, not to forget to turn back around and look at where it came from.

“We sometimes forget. Sometimes we are proud of our accomplishments but we want to look at the people that are behind us and we want to be sure that we never forget what you went to do as a firefighter or a driver or a captain or as a chief, a deputy chief or chief. That’s one thing I always try to do is look backwards and look at my career from one, a rookie in the recruit academy and try to remember those lessons so I can apply them in my new position as a driver, as a captain, or in a chief position,” Chief Hughes said.

“I appreciate all the hard work you did. I can tell you the competition for those promotions was very tough. There are other people in the audience who have promoted and they’ll attest to that. We’ve got nothing but good people all across the board so no matter who we promote we’re going to get a good person but to rise to the top of that is a very significant accomplishment so congratulations to all you guys for the hard work,” he added.

In addition to LAFD personnel, family and friends, the audience for the ceremony included retired LAFD Chief Doug MacDonald, retired LAFD Battalion Chief Justin Cassel and Los Alamos Police Chief Dino Sgambellone.

Los Alamos Fire Department Driver/Engineer Sam Meyersick is pinned by his wife Corrie during Monday’s promotion ceremony. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

Los Alamos Fire Department Capt. Matt Munoz is pinned by his wife Danielle as his three children look on. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

Retired Los Alamos Fire Chief Doug MacDonald, left, chats with Los Alamos Police Chief Dino Sgambellone Monday prior to the LAFD promotions ceremony. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

Los Alamos Fire Department Chaplain Lindsay Baca blesses the badges during Monday’s promotion ceremony. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

Retired Los Alamos Fire Department Battalion Chief Justin Cassel and his wife Los Alamos County Human Resources Manager Denise Cassel attended the LAFD promotion ceremony Monday at Station 3 in White Rock. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

Los Alamos Fire Chief Troy Hughes addresses the promotees during Monday’s promotion ceremony at Station 3 in White Rock. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

Los Alamos Deputy Fire Chief Steve Dawald, left, and Training Division Chief Mike Gill await the start of Monday’s promotion ceremony. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

Los Alamos Fire Department Capt. Matt Munoz poses with his family Monday following his promotion ceremony at Station 3 in White Rock. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

Los Alamos Fire Department Driver/Engineer Sam Meyersick celebrates with his wife, Corrie and his mother Carole Grano following his promotion ceremony Monday at Station 3 in White Rock. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

Los Alamos Fire Marshal Jeff Wetteland watches as his colleagues are recognized during Monday’s promotion ceremony at Station 3 in White Rock. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

Los Alamos Fire Department Safety Division Chief James Thwaites celebrates his promotion with his wife, Katie and daughter Kailey following Monday’s promotion ceremony. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

Los Alamos Fire Chief Troy Hughes, far right, jokes with Safety Division Chief JamesThwaites, left, Deputy Chief Steve Dawald and Training Division Chief Mike Gill Monday at Station 3 in White Rock. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ladailypost.com

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