Santa Fe County

Fire Department

Fire Chief and Command Staff

Fire Chief's Office


Erik J. Litzenberg
Fire Chief
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Erik Litzenberg is the Fire Chief for Santa Fe County, New Mexico. He started his career in public service as a firefighter with the Santa Fe County Fire Department. He has served in most positions in the City of Santa Fe Fire Department over the past 21 years, most recently for five years as the Fire Chief. He was asked to serve as the City Manager for the City of Santa Fe for the past year-and-one-half. As Fire Chief, Litzenberg promoted the development of a full time Wildland Urban Interface Division and the creation of a Mobile Integrated Health Office, which continues to serve some of the community's most complex and demanding patient populations. Through 24 years of service he has also worked for New Mexico State Forestry and as part of multiple Incident Management Teams, and for many years owned Santa Fe Wildfire, which provided resources for large scale incident management and response. Litzenberg holds a masters degree in public administration, and is currently working on a doctorate in sports administration. He is a graduate of the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program and the Center for Homeland Defense and Security Executive Leadership Program. Litzenberg represents local government as the Chair of the International Association of Fire Chiefs Wildland Fire Policy Committee, and is a member of the Wildland Fire Leadership Council. Chief Litzenberg has authored multiple articles and textbooks on fire service and organizational leadership, community risk reduction, and the Wildland urban interface. He enjoys training for and participating in triathlons, and lives in Santa Fe with his wife and children.



Bobby Montoya
Assistant Chief - Operations
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Assistant Chief Montoya began his career with Santa Fe County Fire Department by joining the Chimayo Volunteer Fire District in 1999. While volunteering, he found his passion in serving the community in both EMS and Fire and decided to pursue this full-time.  In 2000, he completed the EMT – Intermediate program.  While maintaining his service as a Volunteer Firefighter, Asst. Chief Montoya was hired on with Presbyterian Health Services. In 2002 he was hired as a full-time/career Firefighter for Santa Fe County.  Asst. Chief Montoya attended the first Paramedic Program offered by Santa Fe Community College in 2006 and soon after was promoted through the ranks as a Firefighter, Paramedic, Lieutenant, Battalion Chief and currently Assistant Fire Chief.  Asst. Chief Montoya continues to serve as a Paramedic with Presbyterian Health Services – EMS Division part-time to maintain and advance his skills in Paramedicine.  Over the past 18 years, he has also added to his experience by training in Rescue Operations, HazMat Operations, Pediatric and Advanced Cardiac Life Support, and various other courses.                                                                                                                                                                                                  


Jacob Black
Assistant Chief - Administration Division
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Assistant Chief Black began his career in the fires service in 2003 as a volunteer for the Santa Fe County Fire Department. During his time as a volunteer, he served as the EMS Captain for the Agua Fria District and was hired to work as a regional staff member as needed in 2006. In 2011, Assistant Chief Black moved into a full time position with the department. He completed the paramedic program at Santa Fe Community College in 2013. He also earned his Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from the University of New Mexico and his Associates in Paramedicine from Santa Fe Community College.




Martin Vigil
Assistant Chief - Director of Emergency Management
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Assistant Chief Vigil is the Emergency Manager for the County of Santa Fe, New Mexico. He has over 35 years of public safety experience from being a Paramedic, Emergency Medical Services educator, Police Sergeant, and Fire Command Officer in both career and combination fire departments. Assistant Chief Vigil started his career at age 13 as a member of the New Mexico Wing of the Civil Air Patrol and was involved in air search and rescue. He soon became an Emergency Medical Technician and started teaching EMT courses at age 16. At age 19, he became the first Native American Paramedic in the state of New Mexico. In 1998, Assistant Chief Vigil left public safety to pursue a career in critical care nursing, eventually working at the University of New Mexico Hospital in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. He began to take a strong interest in infectious diseases and bioterrorism medical response. He holds significant certifications in the medical management of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive casualties.

Karl Ehl
Chief - Shift Battalion A
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Battalion Chief Karl Ehl has more than 17 years in the fire service. His service began as a Volunteer with the Bernalillo County Fire Department, District Seven in the early nineties. In 1995 BC Ehl moved the East Mountains and found a home with Moriarty Fire where he quickly moved through the ranks to the position of Chief Officer. In 2007, BC Ehl was hired with Santa Fe County Fire Department as the Fire Training Captain. He was promoted to the position of Battalion Chief in 2012. Over the years, BC Ehl has served on several committees including the Executive Board of the New Mexico Fire Chief’s Association, Middle Rio Grande Council of Governments, United Way Council, and the International Association of Fire Chief’s. He is currently licensed as an Emergency Medical Technician-Intermediate and is trained in Fire Suppression, Incident Command, Hazardous Materials response, Leadership and is an IFSAC Accredited Fire Instructor.

Tony Ruscetti
Chief - Shift Battalion B
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Battalion Chief Ruscetti has more than 20 years with the Santa Fe County Fire Department. BC Ruscetti joined the Edgewood Volunteer Fire District in 1988 and advanced in ranks to the position of District Captain. In 1995 he was hired as a full time fire fighter for Santa Fe County and spent the last five years serving as a Shift Lieutenant and was recently promoted to the position of Battalion Chief. BC Ruscetti spent several years as an adjunct EMT-I/C for UNM, ENMU and SFCC teaching EMT’s throughout New Mexico. He is also trained in Incident Command, Hazmat, tech rescue, swift water rescue and wild land fire fighting.

Jeffrey Carroll
Chief - Shift Battalion C
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Battalion Chief Carroll began his career with Santa Fe County Fire Department as a volunteer with the Madrid Volunteer Fire District, after relocating to NM from Wisconsin in 2005. During this time, he discovered that he enjoyed the challenges and sense of accomplishment that came with being part of the Fire Department and its role in the community. He applied for the County Fire Academy in 2007 and graduated as class valedictorian. He rapidly gained his EMT-Intermediate license, and promoted to Lieutenant in 2010. He earned his Paramedic license in 2012, and also has certifications in Wildland Urban Interface operations and Swift water Rescue. BC Carroll earned his Bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1990.

Regional Operations - Captains 


Mike Mestas
EMS Captain
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Captain Mestas hired on with SFCFD in the fall of 2008 and assumed the duties of EMS Operations and Training serving under Chief Holland. He comes with over 20 years experience from Albuquerque Fire Department and is credentialed as EMS instructor in ACLS, PALS, BLS and PHTLS. He also serves as the Quality Assurance Officer (CQI) for the department. Since his involvement with county he has affiliated with SF Community College becoming an employee/instructor for the school. He has extensive involvement and training of several EMT Basic, EMT Intermediate, Paramedic classes, and EMT Instructor course for the county as well the annual EMT Combo Refresher classes.

Mike Jaffa
Volunteer Recruitment / Retention Captain
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Captain Jaffa joined the Department in 2008 and is responsible for Recruitment & Retention Programs and serves as the Department's Volunteer Coordinator. Mike has more than 28 years of experience in the fire service, having previously served as the Deputy Chief for both the Bernalillo County and the Village of Tijeras Fire Departments. He serves on numerous committees and task forces for the International Association of Fire Chiefs, where he currently is the chairperson for Company Officer Leadership Committee and the Reputation Management Project for the volunteer and Combination Officers Section.  He also serves as the NM State Director for the Firefighter Cancer Support Network, providing training and support to Firefighters dealing with a cancer diagnosis. Captain Jaffa is a frequent presenter at Fire Rescue International and other state and regional fire service conferences, covering such topics as: Firehouse Etiquette, Reputation Management, Cancer in the Fire Service, Fire Corps Programs, Volunteer & Career Integration, Jr. Firefighter Programs, Leadership Practices, and Recruiting and Retention of Volunteers.

Fire Prevention and Wildland 

Jaome Blay
Fire Marshal
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Fire Marshal Blay began his fire career as a volunteer firefighter with Santa Fe County in 2004.  In 2006, he joined Los Alamos County Fire Department as a Firefighter/EMT and participated in their Fire Prevention and Public Education program. In 2007, he joined the City of Santa Fe Fire Department where he earned his Paramedic, Fire Inspector, and Hazardous Materials Tech certifications. Jaome became the City of Santa Fe Fire Department Deputy Fire Marshal in 2013. Fire Marshal Blay was born in Barcelona, Spain and has lived in Santa Fe County since 1993. He has a B.A. in Liberal Arts from the College of Santa Fe, and an A.A.S. in Fire Protection Technology  and A.S. in Emergency Medical Services  from ENMU Roswell.  Mr. Blay holds ICC certifications in fire inspection and fire plans review, and he is ICC Fire Code Specialist and Fire Marshal certified.

Mike Feulner
Wildland Captain
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Captain Feulner started with the County in 2006 as a member of the Edgewood Volunteer Fire District as a structural and wildland firefighter. Although he was not an EMT he assisted medical personnel on all medical calls. Captain Feulner served as the EVFD Assistant Chief from January 2011 until June 2012. In 2010, he was hired by the County as a Fire Prevention- Urban Interface Specialist. In 2012 he was hired as the Wildland Division Captain. Captain Feulner is a certified Engine boss, A faller, ICT 4, and teaches wildland classes and refreshers both for the County and outside agencies.

Fire Training Shift Captains

Reed Shelton
A Shift Captain
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Captain Shelton began his fire service career as a volunteer with Santa Fe County Fire Department in 1993. After seven years as a volunteer in the Hondo Fire District, he began working as a regional staff member. He completed the UNM paramedic program in 2001 and has served as a FF Paramedic, Regional Lieutenant, Acting EMS Captain, Battalion Captain, and now Shift Training Captain. Captain Shelton also served three years as the commanding officer of the Santa Fe County Fire Department Technical Rescue Team. He has a background in wilderness medicine, search and rescue, 3 years of helicopter EMS experience, and served 10 years as a ski patrol paramedic. He has a bachelor’s degree in Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology from Oklahoma State University. When Captain Shelton is not working, he enjoys spending time with his kids, building with Legos and eating ice cream.

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Grant Lundquist
A Shift Captain
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Captain Lundquist has been with the Santa Fe County Fire Department since 2009. Before being promoted to the rank of Fire Training Captain in 2016, he served in the Northern Region in Santa Fe County. In addition to his years of service as a Firefighter and EMT – I, he brings certifications from the NM Fire Training Academy as a Fire Instructor I and II, Officer I and II, Pump Operator, Rope Rescue Technician, and Haz Mat Technician.



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