Department Faculty and Staff

Public Services Department

J. Mark Nunley, Department Chair
575-527-7746 – jnunley@dacc.nmsu.edu

Argie Hernandez, Division Advisor
575-528-7403 – ahernandez@dacc.nmsu.edu

Patti Knowles, Administrative Assistant, Associate
575-528-7640 – pknowles@dacc.nmsu.edu

Fire Science Program Faculty

Alfred Lujan, Fire Science Program Lead Faculty
575-528-7321 – allujan@dacc.nmsu.edu

I am a retired Battalion Chief from the City of Las Cruces Fire Department with an excellent documentable record of accomplishment and success in the fire service. Highlights include career ascension through the ranks of firefighter, driver/operator, lieutenant, and battalion chief.   I spent 12-years in charge of the A-shift, a platoon of 37 personnel, where together we enjoyed a strong team dynamic responding to and mitigating many incidents including fires, medical emergencies, technical rescue, hazardous materials, aircraft emergencies, and many others.

Throughout my career, I have spent thousands of hours enthusiastically teaching and mentoring cadets in the fire academy as well as regular members training for promotion and operations. Topics I regularly instructed include: leadership, fire officer, pump operations, strategy and tactics, incident command, ventilation, building construction, flashover survival, apparatus driving, fire behavior, and many others.

I have attended the National Fire Academy in Emmittsburg, Maryland on many occasions completing the Management Series in the topics of Communication, Interpersonal Dynamics, and Organizational Theory. I also completed the course in Fire Department Operations at Multiple Alarm Incidents. In addition, I earned certification in Fire Instructor I and Fire Service Course Design from the National Fire Academy. I have also earned certification in teaching Managing Company Tactical Operations and in teaching the National Incident Management System ICS 100-400 both in the State of New Mexico and through FEMA.

Learning and teaching are my passion and in January 2000, I began teaching at Dona Ana Community College.  I thoroughly enjoy teaching aspiring firefighters and lend my experience and education to motivate students to work hard in attaining their goals in career and life.

Jason Floyd

I’m a passionate fire service professional working in career, volunteer and academic environments. I’m currently a Lieutenant assigned to Las Cruces Fire Department Engine-2, the Assistant Chief of Operations for the Mesilla Volunteer Fire Department and an instructor for the Fire Science Technology Program at the Dona Ana Community College.

I began my fire service career with the Fairacres-Picacho Volunteer Fire Department in 2000. I worked my way up through the ranks of Firefighter, Captain, Assistant Chief and eventually earned the rank of Fire Chief in 2009. During my tenure I modernized the department’s apparatus, equipment and procedures.

In 2002, I joined the City of Las Cruces Fire Department and graduated from the 22nd Fire Academy. I have served as a Firefighter, Driver/Operator and Lieutenant on both engine and truck companies. I am an active department instructor focusing on engine company operations, fire behavior and incident command. I have served as Academy Coordinator, Public Information Officer and on numerous training and promotional committees.

Most recently, I accepted the Assistant Chief position at the Town of Mesilla Volunteer Fire Department. I oversee the organizations emergency response and training programs. My efforts are focused on updating standard operating guidelines, modernizing tactics and mutual aid integration.

I was hired in 2016 as an instructor at the Dona Ana Community College. I teach Firefighter I, Firefighter II and Strategy and Tactics courses.

In 2015, I was appointed to Underwriters Laboratories technical panel for the Study of the Impact of Fire Attack Utilizing Interior and Exterior Streams on Firefighter Safety and Occupant Survival. This three-year research project assembled twenty-four fire service experts from around the world to study fire attack methodologies. This groundbreaking initiative produced evidence-based tactics that will produce a safer and more effective fire service.

I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Regional Development from the University of Arizona in 1996 and an Associates of Applied Science in Website Administration from the Art Institute of Phoenix in 1999. As a native of Las Cruces, I am passionate about improving the local fire service through mentorship, instruction and collaboration.

James Herrera

An 18 year veteran of the fire service is a Deputy Fire Chief with the NASA Fire Department at the White Sands Test Facility, in Las Cruces, NM.  His assigned duties hold him responsible for the Hazardous Materials Program for NASA Fire Department.  He has functioned as a firefighter, Emergency Medical Technician Intermediate and Lieutenant.

James holds numerous State and National Certifications including Firefighter Instructor, Fire Inspector, Hazmat Awareness/ Operations Instructor, Hazmat Technician Instructor, NIMS ICS 100-400 Instructor and multiple fire officer decision making and development courses.  James’s training focus is in the area of hazardous materials.

His Fire service career began as a volunteer firefighter with the Town of Mesilla Fire Department, where he promoted from firefighter, to Driver/Operator, Lieutenant, Captain and Assistant Chief of Operations/Training.

James is a part time Instructor for the Dona Ana Community College –Fire Science Program.  His is responsible for teaching the Hazardous Materials Awareness/Operations Curriculum for the Firefighter 1 course.

Deputy Chief Herrera’s commitment to the Fire Service is to provide a quality service to the students, improve their cognitive reasoning and logic so they may be able to make sound educated decisions in the fire service.

Chris Reaves

dsci0042I am currently employed with the City of El Paso as a Captain with El Paso Fire Department. I am assigned to Pumper 15 at 115 Shorty Lane.

I have been an adjunct instructor at Dona Ana Community College since 2009. I am also an adjunct faculty member at El Paso Community College with the Fire Technology program. I have twelve years instructing experience at the college level with EPCC.

I received a Bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Western Illinois University in 2003. I obtained a Masters degree in Management from Webster University in 2009.

I have twenty years of firefighting experience with the El Paso Fire Department. My work experience has enabled me to obtain additional knowledge and applied application with incident command, emergency operations, public speaking and report writing. I hold an Instructor III and Master structural firefighting certification with the state of Texas. I also hold an Inspector II, Fire Officer II and plan examiner certification with the state of Texas.

Gregory Whited

whited2Prior military, 25 years firefighting experience, 17 years fire investigation and law enforcement experience.  Certified as: IAAI-CFI, NAFI-CFEI, NAPWDA-Accelerant detection K9 handler and certifier, New Mexico fire investigator, inspector, fire fighter, instructor, an EMT, New Mexico and Texas Private Investigator, Associates Degrees in Criminal Justice and Fire, and Baccalaureate in Fire Administration.

 

 

 

Chad Zecha

I have been in the fire service for 25 years. I am currently a full time firefighter for the NASA WSTF Fire Department. I also am the Deputy Fire Chief for the Mesilla Fire Department which is a combination fire department. Over the course of my career, I have been a part of volunteer, career and private fire departments, which has given me a wide spectrum of the diverse careers within the fire service.

My college education began with New Mexico State University, were I am a proud AGGIE and played football as a starting punter for 4 years. I also attended Dona Ana Community College and earned my Associates Degree in Applied Science. I am currently working on my Bachelors Degree in Fire Administration.

I have been a fire service instructor since 2004 and have focused my skill set on the beginning firefighter, teaching the firefighter 1 & 2 classes were I can prepare students to enter the career field ahead of the game. Its a great feeling to see my past students walk across that stage to receive their badge from their respective departments to begin their career!