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Troy Hughes
Fire Chief

Picture of Chief Troy HughesFire 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 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 Northern New Mexico 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 University.  He is also a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program.  Troy completed the Center for Homeland Defense and Security Master’s Program at the Naval Postgraduate School in 2017.  Troy is one of less than 1200 fire service professionals in the United States that hold a Chief Fire Officer designation from the Commission on Professional Credentialing.  Troy has completed the Leadership New Mexico Core and State and Local Government programs.  He has also completed the Leadership Los Alamos Program, the FBI Citizens Academy, and the Los Alamos County Leadership Academy.  Troy is very involved in his community.  He has served as a board member for the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation and United Way of Northern New Mexico.  He is the past president of the Los Alamos Public Safety Officers Association, is the past president of the Los Alamos Rotary Club, and served as the treasurer for the Los Alamos Committee for Higher Education.  He is a perpetual member of the Los Alamos Chapter of the Military Order of World Wars and lifetime alumni member of Leadership New Mexico.   Troy’s wife, Jodi, is a first grade teacher at Pinon elementary school.  Troy and Jodi have two adult children.  Their son, Michael, is a manager for Burlington Northern/Santa Fe railroad in Casper, Wyoming and their daughter Kaylea is a police detective in Aurora, Illinois. Their grandchildren include Emma, Liam, and Benson, Delany, and Maylin.

Steven Dawald
Deputy Chief

Deputy Chief Steve DawaldDeputy 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. His Bachelor’s degree is in Occupational Education (Eastern New Mexico University) and his Master’s degree is in Public Administration (Arkansas State University). 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 was promoted to the rank of Driver Engineer in May of 2003 and Captain in July of 2005. He acted as an Operations Battalion Chief for eight months before his official promotion to Battalion Chief in February of 2012. Steve has held the Deputy Fire Chief position since 2016. Steve holds numerous certifications including Paramedic, Fire Officer 1, 2, 3, and 4, Fire Instructor 1, 2, and 3, and hazardous materials technician. He was also a member of the Technical Rescue Team and vehicle committee. He has taken the lead on a three-station construction project that will include firefighter safety as a top priority in their design. He is an EMS Instructor/Coordinator and is certified to teach CPR, ACLS, and PALS. He is also a Blue Card Incident Command instructor.  Steve manages the Fire Science Program at the University of New Mexico - Los Alamos campus where he has taught Fire Science since 2012. Steve completed the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program in 2019 and received Chief Fire Officer (CFO) designation from the Commission on Professional Credentialing in 2021.  He has also completed the Los Alamos County Leadership Academy and the Leadership Los Alamos Program. 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. The best part of all is working with a great group of people that would do anything for each other.” Steve is married to Melanie, and they have a daughter named Cady. They enjoy spending time outdoors in the Jemez Mountains together with family and friends.

Kelly Sterna
Division Chief (Wildland)

Chief Kelly Sterna

Division Chief Kelly Sterna was born and raised in Deadwood, SD and graduated from Lead-Deadwood High School.

After High School, Kelly attended South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City, SD, in addition to furthering his education through Central New Mexico college in Albuquerque and Northern New Mexico College in Espanola.  Kelly began his fire service career as a  volunteer with Red River Fire Department for 4 years prior to coming to LAFD primarily as a wildland firefighter. In March of 2005, Kelly was hired by the Los Alamos Fire Department. Kelly holds National Wildland Coordinating Group (NWCG) for Engine Boss, Helicopter Crew member and Wildland Communications Technician.

During his 16 years at Los Alamos Fire Department Kelly has held the ranks of Firefighter I and II, Driver Engineer, Fire Captain, and Division Chief. He was also part of the Technical Rescue Team, Shift Training Team, SCBA team, and Communication team. Kelly has a daughter, who is pursuing a law degree at UT-Austin.

Wendy Servey

Division Chief (Fire and Life Safety/Fire Marshal)

Division Chief Wendy Servey

Division Chief Wendy Servey started her fire service career in 1998 as a career firefighter/paramedic at Coventry Fire in Akron, Ohio. In 2004, she moved to New Mexico and started with the career department of Santa Fe County Fire, then in 2006, she transitioned to the Los Alamos Fire Department in 2006.  Division Chief Servey has spent 23 years in the fire service, and presently serves as Fire Marshal. Other fire leadership roles in the County include her assignments as Battalion Chief in Safety and Fire Operations.

Chief Servey has an associate's degree in Applied Science in Fire Science, a Bachelor of Science degree in Technology, and is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Officer Program.

Chief Servey finds time to volunteer as a firefighter-paramedic in the community where she lives near Santa Fe.  She and her partner Liz, who also volunteers as a firefighter, are looking to discover more time for hiking, RV’ing, traveling and lounging with their two chocolate Labradors – Maisie and Bowen.


Joseph Baca
Division Chief (Safety)
Chief Bacas PhotoDivision Chief Joseph Baca 

was born and raised in Northern New Mexico and graduated from Escalante High School. He attended Adams State University in Colorado where he received an Associate of Science Degree, before he moved to Albuquerque to continue his education. Chief Baca comes from a family of public servants, his Father retired as the Fire Management Officer for the Carson National Forest, a brother who served in the Army as a Chief Warrant Officer, he has another brother who is the assistant field director for the NM State Land Office, and his only sister is the Executive Assistant at the local health clinic. Chief Baca also has 2 brothers who are career firefighters, and a son who followed in his footsteps as a firefighter for the Los Alamos Fire Department.

Chief Baca joined the Los Alamos Fire Department in 1997. Throughout his career he has promoted through the ranks of Firefighter, Driver Engineer, Captain, Training Captain and now Division Chief of Safety. Chief Baca became a paramedic in 2003 and has been part of several LAFD’s specialty teams such as; Public Education and outreach, Technical Rescue, and Haz-Mat.

Chief Baca currently lives in Northern New Mexico, (Canjilon) with his wife Loretta and two daughters Marissa and Elyssa. Loretta is an employee of the Rio Arriba County Fire Marshal’s of

Marissa is a graduate of the University of New Mexico with a degree in business marketing and Elyssa is attending CNM studying Radiologic Technology. His son Ryan, and his wife Sandra have blessed Chief Baca with three grandchildren; Isabella, Allie, and Ryder.

Christopher Bartlett
Division Chief (EMS)

EMS Division Chief Chris Bartlett was born in Tulsa, OK and raised in Sacramento, CA. He studied EMS at Rogers University in Oklahoma and completed his Associate’s Degree at Eastern New Mexico University.   In 1998, Chris proceeded into the challenging environment of urban prehospital EMS. He joined Los Alamos Fire Department in 2006 and promoted to the rank of Driver Engineer in January of 2011 and to the rank of Captain in December of 2011. As a paramedic and firefighter for 20 years, Chris has enjoyed working in several unique settings, from a rural Oklahoma ambulance to high performance EMS systems in Tulsa, OK and Las Vegas, NV.   Chris currently lives in Los Alamos with his two young children, Lily and Harlan.

James Thwaits
Division Chief (Training)

Picture of Chief Thwaits

Division Chief James Thwaits was born in Albuquerque, NM and moved to Los Alamos in 1985 where he lived until 1989 when he moved to Colorado.  After graduating High School, James proudly served in the United States Marine Corps.  He joined the Los Alamos Fire Department in 2006.  James has climbed the ranks from Fire Fighter, Driver Engineer, Captain, to his current position as the Division Chief of Training.  He has been part of the LAFD Technical Rescue Team, HAZMAT team, SCBA Team, Communications Team, and Bike Team.  James currently has an A.A.S in Fire Science and is working on his Bachelor’s degree.  James lives in White Rock with his wife, Katie, and their youngest daughter, Kailey; their oldest daughter, Kelsey, is a graduate of LAHS, UNM, and William and Mary Law, and is a licensed attorney in both New Mexico and California.

Todd Forsythe
Division Chief (LANL Training)

Division Chief Todd ForsytheDivision Chief Todd Forsythe grew up in southern California.  After graduating from Arrowhead Christian Academy he studied business at Cal State University, San Bernardino.  After working as a manager for Big 5 Sporting Goods he decided to pursue a career in fire and put himself through California State Fire Academy.  He was hired on with the USFS and was a wildland firefighter for six seasons in the San Bernardino National Forest.  After not being able to secure permanent employment with the forest service he moved to Havasu City, Arizona where he was a manufacturing manager for Sterilite for five years.  In 2000 he took a position with Intel, where he worked as a Team Leader while also earning his Associate’s degree in Engineering. Todd never lost the desire to be a firefighter however, and he decided to follow his true calling and was hired on by Los Alamos Fire Department in 2008.

During his thirteen years with LAFD Todd has ascended the ranks of Firefighter one and two, Driver Engineer, Captain and Division Chief.  He is also a member of the Hazmat and is an EMT-I. 

Todd lives in Jemez Springs with his wife Cheryl and their two dogs.  His pride and joy are his two sons, who are both attending Arizona State University; Cole is pursuing a degree in Business and Jake in Computer Science.

Todd enjoys restoring vintage vehicles, off-roading and riding his resto-mod Ford Bronco, being outdoors and spending time with his wife.

Ben Stone
Battalion Chief (A Shift)

Picture Of Chief Stone

Battalion Chief Benjamin Stone was born on the Ft. Bliss military base in El Paso, Texas and traveled the United States during his childhood, eventually graduating High School in Syracuse NY. Following his roots, he was always close to public safety, his dad was an Army Military Police Officer and his uncle was the Fire Chief for Lakewood Fire Department, in the early 80s. Ben started his fire service career in 2000 with the Warner’s Hose Company and the Tully Hose Company as a volunteer while working for E-One Emergency Service Manufacturer building response vehicles. Ben joined LAFD as a Firefighter in 2003,  transitioned to Driver Engineer in 2009, in 2010 promoted to Captain, finally to Battalion Chief in 2013, and in was assigned to the Division Chief of EMS. Ben is active in several committees across the country, serving on the Los Alamos Medical Center Advisory Board, Medical Advisory Committee, International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Association of EMS Chiefs, L.A. Public Safety Officer’s Association, L.A. Heart Council, L.A. Health Council and he currently serves as the Vice-President of the New Mexico EMS Educators Association. Ben’s educational achievements include an Associates of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Fire Science, an Associate of Sciences in Paramedicine, and Bachelor of Science in Paramedicine with a Fire Science Minor and a Master of Science in Domestic Preparedness and Executive Fire Service Leadership. Ben is now pursuing his Doctor of Education in Leadership from Grand Canyon University. Additionally, Ben has achieved dual accreditation from the Center for Public Safety Excellence as a Chief Fire Officer and Chief EMS Officer. 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. They have two daughters, Izzabel and Samantha.

Steve Saiz
Battalion Chief (B Shift)

Picture of Battalion Chief Steve Saiz
Battalion Chief Steve Saiz has been with the Los Alamos Fire Department for 18 years. Steve resides in Rio Rancho with his beautiful wife, Tammy Jo, and 2 amazing kids, Deegan and Aria. He is currently assigned as the B-shift Battalion Chief. Chief Saiz started in 2003 as a firefighter/EMT-Intermediate. He worked his way through the ranks, promoting to Driver/Engineer in 2007, Captain in 2009 and then to Battalion Chief in 2016. He has been part of many specialty teams including clothing/PPE custodian, Scott SCBA Technician, Technical Rescue Team member and the Occupational Health and Safety Committee. He assists the Administrative Services Team in supporting the Fire Suppression module of Accreditation. He had the privilege of being part of Los Alamos Fire Academy 20 as a Training Officer in 2009. He enjoys being on shift and plans to retire from there.

Micah Brittelle

Battalion Chief (C Shift)
Division Chief Micah Brittelle
Battalion Chief Micah Brittelle was born in Albuquerque, NM and moved to Los Alamos in 1985.  He joined the Los Alamos Fire Department in 2003 as a Firefighter/EMT. He promoted through the ranks from Firefighter, Driver Engineer 2011, Captain 2012, and Battalion Chief of operations 2019.  As a Captain, he spent three years as the departments Training Officer before returning to shift work as a house Captain at station 1.  He has been a member of the LAFD Hazardous Materials Team, SCBA Team, Bike Team and Technical Rescue Team, which he was the team lead of for six years.  He received his AAS in fire science through UNM-LA in 2014.  Micah currently lives in Los Alamos with his wife, Stacy, and daughters, Haiden, and Ella.