Mario H. Treviño has been the chief of Las Vegas Fire & Rescue since 1996. He has 28 years of experience in the fire service, having previously served with the Seattle Fire Department, where he rose through the ranks to the level of deputy fire chief. Treviño graduated summa cum laude from Seattle...
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Photo Courtesy of Las Vegas Fire & Rescue
Las Vegas Fire Chief, Mario H. Treviño
Treviño is an executive board member of the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs; a member of the Terrorism, Professional Development and ISO committees of the International Association of Fire Chiefs; an advisory board member of the Fire and Emergency Television Network; and was invited to participate in the National Fire Protection Association's Urban Fire Forum in 2000. He has testified before United States congressional committees on two separate occasions, has had numerous articles published in trade journals and magazines, and is also the chairman of the Fire Service Committee of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
Treviño is very active in local community concerns, such as board memberships in the American Red Cross, Nevada Community College and local chambers of commerce. He was interviewed by Firehouse® Magazine Editor-in-Chief Harvey Eisner.
Firehouse: Your population is continuing to grow here?
Treviño: Yes, and I'm sure you've probably read that Las Vegas was the largest-growing metropolitan area during the '90s, and we haven't seen any slowdown in the growth rate. The Las Vegas valley is still growing by between 4,000 and 6,000 people net per month.
Firehouse: Most people consider the whole area to be Las Vegas, but please describe your specific response area.
Treviño: Actually, we're the fire department for the City of Las Vegas and then, as you know, there are other cities - the City of Henderson, which is officially the second-largest city in the state, by the way, it just surpassed Reno. There's Boulder City. There's North Las Vegas, which is in the neighborhood of 100,000 people. Then there are the unincorporated parts of Clark County, and they have their own fire department, but we do automatic aid, so we're in Clark County every day and they're in the city every day.
Firehouse: Is there a percentage of the area that still hasn't been developed? I mean, is it 10%, 20%, 30% of your area? Is there any idea how much is left?
Treviño: No. Actually, the city is still expanding. At almost every City Council session there's an annexation item on the agenda. So not only are we growing in population, we're also growing in square mileage, and I don't know at what point that ends.
Now, there is a valley, and if you fly over it, you can see that we're ringed by mountains all the way around. I imagine until the growth fills that entire valley up, we're going to keep growing and I haven't seen an end in sight.
Firehouse: What are your expansion plans? You have several stations on the drawing board?
Treviño: That's correct. We just opened a new station last November, and we are breaking ground on four more this year.
We went to the voters last year with Fire Initiative 2000, and they approved it. The initiative will pay for four of our new stations, 96 firefighters and paramedics, 17 staff positions and an apparatus-replacement program for the next 30 years. Each of our engines will automatically be replaced after seven years of service and each ladder truck after 10 years.
Needless to say, we are very pleased by the vote of confidence by the citizens of Las Vegas, and it will make our efforts to keep up with growth much easier financially.
Firehouse: So you've investigated different ways to do it?