Maxon has been serving as interim fire chief since July 2012, following the death of longtime Sandoval County Fire Chief Jon Tibbetts in a tragic car accident.
Chief Tibbetts widow, Connie Tibbetts, will place the chiefs pin on Maxons uniform at Thursdays ceremony.
At the time of Maxons appointment as interim chief, County Manager Phil Rios said he didnt want to rush the decision of naming a new chief, particularly given the circumstances under which the position came open. However, he also expressed confidence in Maxons ability to lead the department at such a critical time.
Over the past six months, Maxon has justified the countys managers confidence in him, resulting in his appointment as the permanent Sandoval County Fire Chief.
Working with James these past six months has made me realize why Chief Tibbetts had such high regard for him, County Manager Rios said. I have full confidence that he will move the department forward and ensure our citizens continue to receive the highest level of Fire and EMS services.
Maxons performance also was recognized by his peers in the fire-fighting community, who in September 2012 selected him as New Mexico Fire Officer of the Year. When presenting him with that award, State Fire Marshal John Standefer noted how Maxon had managed to keep the Sandoval County Fire Department operating at its usual level of excellence during an especially challenging time.
Chief Maxon has more than 20 years of fire service experience. He joined the Sandoval County Fire Department in January 2006, assuming the role of deputy chief and county fire marshal. Prior to that, Maxon was a senior inspector, investigator, and instructor with the New Mexico State Fire Marshals Office. He also was instrumental in the founding of the Fire Science Technology Program at Santa Fe Community College.
I am honored to be named Sandoval County Fire Chief, Maxon said. I have spent the last 20 years of my career obtaining the training, education, and experience needed to be a fire chief. I am looking forward to leading our department and continuing to make it and organization with a tradition of excellence that is always there when citizens call on us.