Scene of recruits on the job at the LAFD training facilty on DP Road. Photo by Louisa Martinez/LAFD
Recruits learn how to most efficiently douse a vehicle fire at the LAFD training facility on DP Road. Photo by Josh Sammons/LAFD
By CAROL A. CLARK
Los Alamos Daily Post
- “It is not our trucks and equipment that make us great, it’s our people.” –Chief Troy Hughes
Under the leadership efforts of Los Alamos Deputy Fire Chief Wendy Servey and Division Chief (Training) Benjamin Stone and buy in from across the ranks, recruitment for the upcoming academy has surpassed 100 applicants.
“Chief Servey and Chief Stone have tackled our recruiting issues with unstoppable energy,” Chief Hughes said. “They have been very successful in getting many LAFD members at all ranks to support their effort. I am so very proud of this grass roots recruiting effort. Energy, enthusiasm, effort, and innovation have been the principals behind this recruitment. I cannot thank them enough for insuring LAFD remains a premier emergency response agency. It is not our trucks and equipment that make us great, it’s our people.”
During an interview Wednesday, Chief Stone addressed his reasons for pursuing a career in the fire department nearly 20 years ago and still waking up to this day excited about the work.
“The short version is I was a volunteer firefighter in Upstate New York and shortly after 9-11 I decided to become a career firefighter,” he said. “I was in Syracuse at the time and went on the internet and saw about five departments that were hiring and Los Alamos was one of them. My family has always been in public service and I wanted to continue that tradition.”
This September Chief Stone will celebrate 20 years working at LAFD. He explained the two main reasons for that longevity.
“I live here in this community and one part of why I have stayed for so long is how much the community loves LAFD … no matter what’s going on they love and support us,” he said. “The other reason is how absolutely great the people are that I work with at LAFD. They are wonderful and that’s part of the reason I went over to the Training Division … to make sure we get the right firefighters into the academy, keeping our department great.”
Chief Stone said his team is hoping to draw 200 applicants for the next academy.
“We had reached 117 applicants on Tuesday and we still have a couple of recruitment events to go before the deadline to apply, which is March 31,” he said.
Chief Stone wants the public to know that his recruitment team stands ready to assistant in answering questions and encourages people to call Fire Administration at 505.662.8301.
Readers will find details about the department on LAFD’s website including the fact that LAFD has been serving Los Alamos County since 1989 and is considered one of the best fire departments in New Mexico. It has a standard for excellence in being Internationally Accredited, as well as a Class 1 ISO public protection classification rating. Being in close proximity to Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), LAFD is an all-hazards nuclear grade fire department. Due to LANL, all LAFD firefighters must maintain a top security clearance.
LAFD’s uniformed personnel are on duty to protect life, property and the environment of Los Alamos County and are housed in five Stations across the jurisdiction of 109 miles.
For more information about the fire department in general, visit www.losalamosnm.us.
Scene of recruits learning to extract crash victims at the LAFD training facilty on DP Road. Photo by Louisa Martinez/LAFD
Scene of recruits training in the field. Photo by Chief Kelly Sterna/LAFD
Scene of recruits training in the field. Photo by Louisa Martinez/LAFD