The City of Las Cruces administration announced it has selected Jason Smith as the City's next Fire Chief.
Smith joined the Las Cruces Fire Department in 2002 as member of the 22nd Fire Academy and has served the City for more than 18 years. Smith began his career as a Firefighter, promoted to the positions of Driver, Lieutenant, Battalion Chief, and Deputy Chief. In his Fire/EMS training, Smith became a certified paramedic in 2006 in the first paramedic class the Las Cruces Fire Department had ever sponsored. This is one of the reasons why Smith is committed to providing Advanced Life Support at Las Cruces Fire Department. Since 2016, Smith worked as the Deputy Chief of Operations, completing several large projects including the division of shifts into two Battalions; developing a joint Fire and Police Public Safety Building Design; and spearheading grant writing efforts for nine firefighter positions and a paramedic training program. In 2018, he became the chairperson for the general obligation bond program, leading public input and outreach which resulted in $35.6 million in voter-approved projects (one of which is the $6.2 million project to replace Fire Station 3). In 2020, Smith was appointed to Interim Fire Chief. Smith also currently serves as the Chair of the regional Dona Ana County Local Emergency Planning Committee.
Smith attended UTEP on a football scholarship and graduated in May 2000 with a bachelor's degree in Business Management. In 2017, he started the Master of Business Administration program at Eastern New Mexico University and is on track to graduate in May of 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," Pili said.
Chief Smith begins serving the City of Las Cruces as Fire Chief immediately.