Sandoval County’ s newest Fire Chief Eric Masterson.

BernalilloSandoval County officials announced Thursday that Sandoval County Fire and Rescue has a new fire chief.

Eric Masterson, who was the interim fire chief after former Fire Chief James Maxon retired from his position earlier this year, will now take over the permanent duties of county fire chief.

“I’m excited to lead such an amazing group of men and women who make up our administrative staff, career staff and volunteer staff,” Masterson said. “We have such a skilled team, and together we’ll be able to grow the department, streamline processes and create greater efficiencies for our residents and visitors.”

According to a press release, Masterson started with the department in 2006 as a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician-intermediate for the community of Algodones.

Masterson took on the role of volunteer assistant district chief for Sandoval County Fire District 1 in 2008. He served as a firefighter/EMT-intermediate, firefighter/paramedic and lieutenant/paramedic before his promotion to deputy chief.

Masterson holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree in Emergency Medical Services Management from Eastern New Mexico University and is pursuing his Master of Public Safety Leadership and Administration from Arizona State University.

“Eric’s education, experience and working knowledge of Sandoval County Fire and Rescue make him the best candidate for the job,” said County Manager Dianne Maes. “He worked his way up through the ranks in our county, and I can truly say he has walked in the shoes of every member of our fire department. I have every confidence that Eric will seek out ways to make the department more efficient, so we can spend public funds wisely.”

Masterson has also served as the union president for the Sandoval County Professional Firefighters Association and was a part-time EMS instructor at Central New Mexico Community College for several years, the release said.