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Fire Chief Troy Hughes
was born and raised on the plains of Nebraska. His family was involved in farming, ranching, and several were associated with the railroad.
Troy’s fire service career started in 1985 as a firefighter/EMT-B with the Grand Island Fire Department. Troy steadily rose through the ranks to achieve captain in 1992, division chief in 1998, and ultimately the fire chief in 2008. Troy strongly believes in and utilized a participatory leadership style to facilitate many positive changes while serving in leadership roles with the Grand Island Fire Department.
Troy was appointed to lead Los Alamos Fire Department in October of 2011. He has long desired to live in an area like Los Alamos. Troy has fond childhood memories of visits to family in Albuquerque and in the Colorado mountains. Troy enjoys many outdoor activities like hiking, bike riding, motorcycle riding, and camping.
Troy’s educational achievements include an A.A.S. in Fire Protection Technology, a B.A. in Public Administration, and a M.A. in Management with a Leadership Emphasis. Troy graduated Summa Cum Laude and was named the “Outstanding Graduate in the Public Administration Program” while completing his B.A. from Doane College. He is also a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program.
Troy’s wife, Jodi, is a reading coach in the Los Alamos elementary school system. Troy and Jodi have two adult children. Their son, Michael, is a railroad conductor in Colorado and their daughter Kaylea is a police officer in Aurora, Illinois. Their grand children include 5 year old Emma (Michaels’s) and 2 year old Liam (Kaylea’s).
Deputy Chief (Administration)
- Deputy Fire Chief Justin Grider was born in Albuquerque and raised in La Cueva, located in the Jemez Mountains. As a result of his upbringing, he has a deep appreciation of the mountains and the people who live there. He went to school at NM State University where he studied Wildlife Science and will have his AAS degree in Fire Protection through Eastern New Mexico University in the spring of 2012.
Justin started his fire career in La Cueva with Sandoval County where he literally grew up in the Fire Service because his Father was the Chief during his informative years. He volunteered for many years, before joining the Los Alamos Fire Department (LAFD), with La Cueva and Sandoval County Fire Departments. He began his LAFD career in 1997 as a Firefighter II and was promoted to Driver Engineer within two years. In 2003, Justin was promoted to Captain and served as Station Captain and Support Officer until he was promoted to Battalion Chief in 2008. Prior to his promotion to Deputy Chief, he served as the Assistant Fire Chief of EMS and Training for eight months.
Some memorable events during his career were the Cerro Grande Fire and the Las Conchas Fire. During the Cerro Grande, he was a Driver Engineer and was tasked with LANL and community firefighting. During the Las Conchas Fire, he represented LAFD in the Fire Operations area at the Emergency Operations Center as well as patrolling affected areas.
With that being said, Justin is most proud of the relationships he has developed and fostered over the years and the support from so many in the Fire Department. He states that “this is truly the best job and most loving family that anyone can electively join”.
He is married to Cori and has two young children, Madisen and Charlie. Both kids keep him and his wife busy with many projects and school. Justin and family enjoy the outdoors, camping, hunting and travel.
Division Chief (FL&S) / Fire Marshal
Division Chief Brian Nickerson was born and raised in Washington, Missouri and graduated from Washington High School. In 1989 he began his career in the fire service and joined his father who had 38 years in the fire service, including being the first Fire Marshal of Washington Missouri. Nickerson has an Associate Degree in Fire Science from East Central College and is currently working toward a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Science through Columbia Southern University.
Brian brings 22 years of fire experience which began as a volunteer fire fighter and then promoted to lieutenant of a ladder company in the Washington Fire Department in Washington Missouri. After 10 years as a volunteer, he was hired as a fire inspector in Osage Beach Missouri and was promoted three times in a 2 ½ year period which took him to the Fire Marshal position. BC Nickerson has served as an Assistant Chief and Deputy Chief in the areas of fire investigations and training as well as five years as a Fire Chief in Wright City Missouri.
Certifications include Fire Instructor II, Fire Inspector, Fire Investigator, Fire Officer, Adjunct Instructor at University of Missouri-Columbia, Lead Evaluator, and Incident Management Team for the State of Missouri. Brian has also received fire services awards to include Firefighter of the Year, Letter of Commendation for Meritorious Action, Medal of Bravery and 2 CPR Saves.
Brian has two children – a daughter Hayley who is 18 and will graduate from high school in May of 2011 and a son Aaron who is 10 and in the 4th grade. Brian enjoys the outdoors hiking, site seeing, traveling and many other activities. He also enjoys sports watching and playing as well as coaching his son’s football, baseball and basketball teams.
Division Chief (EMS)
Battalion Chief Benjamin Stone was born on Ft. Bliss military base and traveled the US during childhood, eventually graduating High School in Syracuse N.Y. . Following his roots he was always close to public safety, his dad a Military Police officer, and his uncle a Fire Chief for Lakewood fire department. Ben started the fire service in 2000 with the Warners Hose Company and the Tully Hose Company as a volunteer while working for E-One building response vehicles. His career started at LAFD in 2003 and served as a Firefighter, Driver, Captain and now Division Chief. Ben has obtained an Associate’s degree from Eastern New Mexico University in Para-medicine, as well as a second Associates degree from the University of New Mexico in fire science.
During Ben’s time at LAFD he has been very active, being an National Registry Paramedic and Certified Instructor Coordinator for the University of New Mexico, a Hazardous Materials technician, a rope rescue technician, a member of several committees, an active instructor in the departments fire academies, as well as a Wild fire investigator.
Ben describes the highlight of his career as the ability to work with such a professional and caring group of people.
Ben is happily married to his Wife Deborah, and has two daughters, Izzabel and Samantha. During his time at home, he stays busy with the girl’s gymnastics classes, cycling, hiking, camping and frequent trips to the Albuquerque Bio Parks.
Battalion Chief (LANL)
Battalion Chief Paul Grano was born and raised in Orange County, California. Paul moved to New Mexico in 1998 when he was offered a position as a firefighter with the Los Alamos Fire Department (LAFD). He started pursuing a career as a firefighter in 1992 when he enrolled in the Fire Science Program at Rancho Santiago College in California, where he graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Fire Science. He then enrolled at California State University, Fullerton and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. He was a Paid-call firefighter with the Orange County Fire Authority until moving to New Mexico.
In 1998, Paul joined the Los Alamos Fire Department as a firefighter. He was promoted to Captain in 2005 and most recently to Battalion Chief in 2012. His current assignment is in Operations as the C-Shift BC. Paul has been involved with numerous programs with LAFD at one time or another including: the Respiratory Protection Program, the Public Education Team, and the Technical Rescue Team. Prior to promoting to BC, Paul considers his involvement with the Union (Local 3279) as one of his proudest achievements with LAFD. He was the Vice-President for three years and the Secretary for one year.
Paul is happily married to his wife, Laurie, and they are the proud parents to a beautiful daughter, Keira. Paul enjoys spending as much time as he can with Laurie and Keira. He also enjoys traveling, mountain biking, and skiing.
Division Chief (Safety)
Division Chief Wendy Servey was raised in a Northeast Ohio suburb just outside of Cleveland, Ohio. The youngest of four siblings, with a span of 20 years, Wendy received the gentle encouragement from her mother for kindness and compassion balanced with the perseverance and determination for hard work from her father. After her first degree in computer graphic design and several years in the corporate environment, Wendy decided to take a different path to heart and started taking community college courses at night in the fire and EMS field while working during the day. After the career change, Wendy landed her first job working as a city paramedic for Cleveland EMS. She got both her parents advice and started worked as many shifts as possible all the while knowing her ultimate goal was to switch to the fire side. Competition is fierce in the Cleveland-Akron area for fire jobs and it took just 27 testing processes for the first career fire department position to break with Coventry Fire in Akron, Ohio where Wendy was hired as the first female firemedic and made the local papers. Wendy started her career in the fire service by completing her first of three academies and after 7 years with Coventry – Wendy decided the Land of Enchantment may offer more than just a career.
In New Mexico, Wendy has worked for Santa Fe County Fire as a firefighter/paramedic for nearly 2 years before applying to Los Alamos. She then began her career for Los Alamos County after completing her third and final academy in 2006. Wendy was promoted to Captain in 2009; and Battalion Chief in 2014.
Wendy has recently attended a conference on a scholarship from the National Fallen Firefighter’s to evaluate the 16 Fire Life Safety Initiatives, in Tampa, Florida. She has participated in courses at the National Fire Academy in Baltimore, Maryland.
Wendy’s partner Liz is a Registered Nurse in Albuquerque and in their time off have “upgraded” to a small stand up trailer/camper in which they’ve gone on several trips.
They both volunteer in fire/EMS for their home community district near Santa Fe and Wendy is actively involved in Tuesday & Saturday trainings, as well as leadership and member mentoring.
Division Chief (Training)
Division Chief Francisco Martinez was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico and raised in the small community of Rio En Medio in the Tesuque area. Francisco has been dedicated to the fire service since 1995. He started out as a volunteer Firefighter with Tesuque Volunteer Fire Department. During this time, he became certified as an EMT-Basic.
In 1999, Francisco joined the Los Alamos Fire Department (LAFD) as a firefighter. He was promoted to Driver Engineer in 2003, Captain in 2005, and most recently to Battalion Chief in 2010. Francisco serves as the department's Training Division Chief. Francisco has been involved in many projects with LAFD including the Driver Engineer Program and the Respiratory Protection Program. He currently holds a variety of course certificates, including the EMT- Intermediate and an AAS Degree in Fire Protection Technology.
Francisco is married to Tamarra who is a Pediatric ICU Neonatal RN, Forensic S.A. Nurse and Instructor. They are the proud parents of Gabriel and Mia Martinez.
Francisco enjoys the outdoors and loves quality family time.
Battalion Chief (A Shift)
- Battalion Chief Steve Dawald grew up in southern California and graduated from Arcadia High School. He holds two Associate’s Degrees – one in Fire Protection Technology and one in Emergency Medical Services. He is working on his Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Education which will be completed this year. Steve’s education pursuits won’t end there as he has plans to pursue a Master’s Degree in either Management or Education.
Steve began his firefighting career in 1989 as a fire explorer with the Los Angeles County Fire Department and became an EMT in 1990. During his college years, he worked for a private ambulance service and then in the mid 90s, volunteered for three local fire departments and attended paramedic training. These experiences solidified his interest and desire in becoming a full-time firefighter/paramedic - which led to his joining the LAFD in December of 1998. He quickly promoted to the rank of Driver Engineer in May of 2003 and Captain in July of 2005. He has acted as an Operations Battalion Chief for eight months prior to his promotion to Battalion Chief in February of 2012...
Steve holds numerous certifications including: Paramedic, Fire Officer 1 & 2, Fire Instructor 1, 2 &3, TRT member, and hazardous materials technician & team member. He is an EMS Instructor/Coordinator and is certified to teach CPR, ACLS, and PALS. He is an active member of the medical advisory and vehicle committees. Steve also teaches as an adjunct EMS instructor for Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell and plans to teach Fire Science courses for the University of New Mexico in the near future.
When asked what his career highlights are, Steve’s response was “Every day that I come to work is a highlight. Loving what I do for a living and learning something new every day is a highlight. I love watching and helping others grow and develop and take great pride in seeing them reach their goals. Fighting fires and taking care of sick patients is rewarding, but the best highlight of all is working with a great group of people that would do anything for each other.”
Steve is married to Melanie and have a daughter named Cady. He and his wife enjoy homeschooling their daughter and spending time outdoors in the Jemez Mountains together with family and friends. The Dawalds currently live in Rio Rancho and someday hope to live in the Jemez Springs area.
Battalion Chief (B Shift)
Battalion Chief Justin C. Cassel was born in Superior, Wisconsin. In his early years he relocated with his family to Iran (Dad worked for AT&T). Upon the fall of the Shah, the family relocated to Colorado Springs where he graduated high school.
After a short stint at the UND-Bottineau, he served six years in the USMC and actively participated in Operation Desert Shield/Storm. The Marine Corps decided his first duty station should be aboard the aircraft carrier USS Constellation CV-64, at that time if you were a Marine on sea-duty, they also made you a ship-board firefighter. He used those skills when the ship had a 20,000 gallon fuel/oil spill and subsequent fire for the next 24 hours while steaming out of the port of San Diego.
After being honorably discharged from the USMC, he decided the fire service may be a career for him and relocated to Portland, OR to further his education in the fire field.
When he was attending school he worked at the VA National Cemetery, Portland and was an Intern a Clark County Fire District # 3 (Washington). Upon graduation of Portland Community College with an AAS-Fire Science he worked for the college in the fire science program, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue at their regional training center and Clark County Fire District # 12.
In 1997 he was hired on with LAFD as a Firefighter II and has served as a Training Officer, Driver Engineer, Captain, Support Officer and Act. Battalion Chief of Safety.
He has attended numerous National Fire Academy courses to include Organizational Theory in Practice and was part of the first class in Colorado to graduate from the 160 hour Chief Officer Training Curriculum course.
He is currently finishing his divisional assignment in Safety and is looking forward to his assignment to Training.
Battalion Chief (EMS)
Division Chief Adam E. Muller was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico and raised in the small community of Nambe. Adam has been exposed to the fire service all his life and began following in the footsteps of his father Driver Engineer Patrick Muller by dedicating his life to the fire service in 1998. He started out as a volunteer Firefighter with Pojoaque Valley Volunteer Fire Department. During this time, he became certified as an Fire fighter I through Santa Fe County, he also obtained his New Mexico EMT-Basic and EMT – Intermediate Licenses.
In 2000, Adam joined the Los Alamos Fire Department (LAFD) as a firefighter. He was promoted to Driver Engineer in 2009, Captain in 2010, and most recently to Battalion Chief in 2011. His current assignment is as the Battalion Chief of EMS. He has been involved in many projects with LAFD including the; SCBA/Respiratory Tech; Pub Ed.; Arson Investigation Team; Station Mentor. He currently holds a variety of course certificates, including the NREMT – Paramedic, an Associate of Science in Emergency Medical Services, and an Associates of Applied Science Degree in Fire Protection Technology.
Adam is a proud father of four beautiful daughters: Ashleigh, Kaley, Cienna and Laila Muller.