If any of us — heaven forbid — were to find ourselves inextricably trapped in a vehicle after a wreck, we would want the best-trained EMTs and best equipment available to get us out. Santa Fe Fire Department paramedic Brian Bird was recently recognized for helping provide that level of specialized training to more than 90 professionals from more than 30 agencies around New Mexico and elsewhere.
During the past six months, Bird spent hundreds of hours of his own time developing a training curriculum and organizing a four-day course in advanced automotive and heavy equipment extrication, known as Auto-X. The course follows standards set by the National Fire Protection Association and is endorsed by the New Mexico State Firefighters’ Training Academy.
For his efforts in creating the first-ever Santa Fe Auto-X, Bird was named the city of Santa Fe’s employee of the month. He was nominated for the award by Fire Chief Barbara Salas, who noted that the course received “rave reviews from all those involved,” and added that “Brian’s efforts were thankless and unselfish and representative of the true nature of fire service.”
Harry Relkin, general counsel for the New Mexico State Land Office, was recently honored with the 2012 Governor’s New Mexico Distinguished Public Service Award. Relkin, a practicing attorney since 1974, served in several capacities under State Land Commissioner Ray Powell’s previous administration and returned to the agency in 2011. Powell commended him for his contributions to New Mexicans in the form of jobs and affordable housing projects through developments on state trust land.
A tongue-in-cheek compliment of the Department of Transportation’s Clines Corners patrol foreman, Jeff Chavez, describes him as “known for helping lost tourists … who think they’re in Mexico.” In a more serious vein, Chavez also is known as “a leader who can boost the morale of his co-workers by offering words of encouragement and praise when they are needed most.” This was the assessment of nominators who selected him as the agency’s latest supervisor of the quarter for District 5, headquartered in Santa Fe.
District 5’s latest employee of the quarter is 25-year Department of Transportation veteran Anna Trujillo. Trujillo is a civil engineer tech III and office manager for the busy Pojoaque Project Office. Described as the “go-to person for information and problem solving,” she was also praised for her “professionalism and communication skills.”
The agency’s Construction Audit Section was named District 5 crew of the quarter for its fine-tuned “teamwork and accountability.” Team members include Ricky Quinones, Darren Casados, Maria Goldberg, Joseph Brown and Marlene Perea, who also serves as administrative assistant to assistant district engineer Phil A. Gallegos.
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