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New chief to lead NMSU Fire Department

  • By Emily C. Kelley
  • 575-646-1957
  • ekelley@nmsu.edu
  • Jun 07, 2013
Man in uniform with badge
New Mexico State University has selected Johnny Carrillo to lead the NMSU fire department as its chief. His promotion was effective June 3.

Carrillo has previously served in the NMSU Fire Department as a captain, and most recently, as interim chief. He has more than 25 combined years of service to the city of Las Cruces and New Mexico State University fire departments.

"Chief Carrillo has played a central role in preparing student fire fighters for a future as career fire fighters. He is recognized for his work in educating the university community and general public on fire and life safety issues," said Glen Haubold, NMSU assistant vice president for facilities. "In addition to promoting safety messages to the public, Chief Carrillo also has played an integral role in policy and budgetary spending decisions."

Carrillo oversees a department of 33 employees including three captains, 14 students and the Fire Department administration. There are fewer than 10 fire departments in the nation with student firefighters, according to Carrillo. The students are part-time employees and live at the department.

A month after retiring from the city of Las Cruces Fire Department with 21 years of service, Carrillo was offered an independent contract with the city of Las Cruces as recycling operations supervisor. He later came back into the fire service as a fire captain at NMSU in 2009.

"I felt a revitalization from our students. Working with a group of students who are looking for direction and are exploring a career path, is energizing," Carrillo said. "I got into the fire service at a very young age, 21, not knowing what I was going to do. I was given the opportunity and made good on it. This is my opportunity to give back to the philosophy of being a fire fighter and to the community I'm from."

Chief Carrillo is married to Renette, and is the father of three daughters, Alycia, Tawny and Vanessa. Both Tawny and Vanessa are members of the NMSU community and are pursuing their degrees in radiology and archaeology, respectively. Carrillo also has two sons, Johnny and Jeter.

Carrillo's main goal for the coming year is to be more visible in the NMSU community and for his customers to know what services his department provides. In addition to fire and emergency medical services, the NMSU Fire Department also offers free fire extinguisher training on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month, and offers CPR courses on the last Thursday and Friday of each month, for a small fee. To learn more about the classes, please call 646-2519.