County Bids Farewell to Retiring Fire Chief James Maxon

After more than 26 years in the fire service, 13 of which have been with the Sandoval County Fire Department, Fire Chief James Maxon will be retiring on Feb. 22, 2019. The County, in honor of his dedicated service to the residents and visitors of New Mexico, will host a special retirement ceremony for his final dispatch.

“Fire Chief Maxon has been a great asset and public servant to the residents and visitors of our county,” said Sandoval County Commission Chairman David J. Heil, District 4. “He leaves us the foundation he has built for an outstanding fire department and public safety agency. We have been so fortunate to have him in our ranks for 13 years.”

Appointed to lead the Sandoval County Fire Department in 2012, Fire Chief Maxon has led a team of 280 members assigned to eight fire districts and 20 fire stations, providing a broad range of fire and emergency services to the community.

During his tenure as Fire Chief, Maxon led efforts to initiate changes in department staffing and deployment, strategic planning, organizational culture and the department’s community-focused mission. The Sandoval County Fire Department has service contracts with nine other governmental agencies for the provision of dispatch, fire, and/or EMS services that were administered by Chief Maxon. In addition, the Fire Chief also took a special interest in labor relations/negotiations and was personally involved in the negotiation of six collective bargaining agreements.

“James Maxon is the perfect example of someone who has dedicated his life to protecting others, saving property and preserving life. Sandoval County is a better place because of the leadership of Fire Chief James Maxon and we are sad to see him head off to retirement and on to other endeavors in the fire service,” said Sandoval County Commission Vice-Chairman Jay C. Block, District 2.

Fire Chief Maxon’s second in command, Deputy Fire Chief and Fire Marshal Eric Masterson, will take on the role of Interim Fire Chief while the County recruits for applicants to fill the Fire Chief position.

“I appreciate Chief Maxon’s devotion to his chosen career field and understand that he wanted to work in the fire service since he was a child. Not everyone grows up knowing what they want to do with their life, but his chosen field is an admirable one,” said Sandoval County Manager Dianne Maes.  “As James departs, I have every confidence that Deputy Chief Masterson will keep the department going strong.”