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Jason Smith has been named permanent chief of the Las Cruces Fire Department.
Smith has been interim chief since former Fire Chief Eric Enriquez was promoted to assistant city manager last November.
Smith joined LCFD in 2002 as member of the 22nd Fire Academy. He began his career as a firefighter and was promoted to driver, lieutenant, battalion chief and, in 2016, to deputy chief of operations.
During his Fire/EMS training, Smith became a certified paramedic in 2006 in the first paramedic class ever sponsored by LCFD.
Smith also serves as the Chair of the regional Dona Ana County Local Emergency Planning Committee.
As the deputy chief of operations, Smith oversaw completion of several major LCFD projects, including the division of shifts into two battalions, developing a joint fire and police public safety building design and grant-writing efforts to fund nine firefighter positions and a paramedic training program. In 2018, he was chair of the city’s general obligation bond program, which resulted in $35.6 million in voter-approved projects, including $6.2 million to replace Fire Station No. 3 on Valley Drive.
Smith attended UTEP on a football scholarship and graduated in May 2000 with a bachelor's degree in business management. He began the master of business administration program at Eastern New Mexico University and in 2017 and is on track to graduate in May 2021.
"The city has already greatly benefited from Smith's commitment to the fire service in Las Cruces," said City Manager Ifo Pili. "His enthusiasm for improvements to safety and additional resources has made him an excellent candidate for the position. We know he will excel, and we look forward to what he will continue to bring to the city."
“If there ever was a department a deep bench, it would LCFD, said Mayor Ken Miyagishima, “starting with Chief Travis Brown, Chief Eric Enriquez and now Chief Jason Smith! LCFD is one of the premiere fire departments within the United States, one of only 125 fire departments that have an ISO rating of 1. We at the city are very proud of Chief Smith’s accomplishments and we look forward to the many years of his leadership,” the mayor said.
“Jason Smith will be an excellent Fire Chief, he has the drive, the determination, and leadership ability that will benefit the department, the organization, and the community,” Enriquez said. “Jason is one of those individuals that when hired as a firefighter, we all knew he would be chief! I couldn’t be more proud of him, he has earned it.”