Governor visits Fire Academy

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New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez was on site Sept. 11 at the New Mexico Firefighter Training Academy to honor 9/11 firefighters and see what goes on at the academy during the Fire and EMS Expo taking place there this week.

After touring the academy and getting a first hand look at some live fire training, Martinez spoke to gathered firefighters and EMTs briefly.

Elva K. Osterreich/El Defensor Chieftain: New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez and State Fire Marshal John Standefer tour state fire training academy Tuesday.

She said she was looking around and could visualize her step-son among the firefighters present. Her step-son is a firefighter and is in special services in the military, she said.

“I did not know this great place was here,” Martinez said. “I honor the brave men and women who have come here for 23 years from across New Mexico for the proper training foundation for strong emergency services. I’ve seen enough fires in the last 18 months to last a lifetime.”

Martinez said today there are 9,000 people in emergency services and 362 fire departments in New Mexico.

“I can’t thank you enough for what you do,” she told the crowd. “Just remember, at the end of the day, your job is to go home. Be safe.”

Martinez then took time to greet academy participants personally and share some memories of Sept. 11, 2001.

She was the district attorney in Las Cruces at the time and up early to prepare for a 7 a.m. meeting with senior staff.

“When I first saw, I wasn’t sure what I was seeing,” Martinez said. “By the time I got to the meeting it was all over the TV.”

Her staff meeting was canceled due to concern about the events unfolding and the worries of several staff members waiting to hear from family members in the area of the Twin Towers, she said.

“I was wondering if it was ever going to end,” she said. “But Americans will never, ever, fold to terror.”