The town of Ruidoso, New Mexico recently received news that it will have a new emergency management assistant coordinator. Joe Mendez was named to the position last month and comes to the Ruidoso’s EM team with several years of experience in various facets of emergency management. As the “assistant” coordinator, Mendez’s duties will primarily revolve around providing instruction and guidance to the town’s administrators, department heads, utility officials, and first responders in how to properly execute the specific elements of emergency management.
He has so far developed three individual training courses for different groups that deal with crisis situations particularly as it relates to Ruidoso’s schools. He also has a workshop set up to instruct administrators on biohazard preparedness.
Mendez’s perspective on his new job is one that is reassuring to the residents of Ruidoso to say the least. He told a reporter that he likes to open the front door to his house in the morning and see the clouds over the tree lines across his yard, take a deep breath and remind himself that he lives in a fantastic community with an equally fantastic environment where residents can feel safe and he takes pride in knowing it is his job to keep things that way.
Mendez’s background includes several years managing various crisis situations all across the country, including a few stints at major colleges and universities where he taught key elements of emergency management.
He has a bachelor’s degree in academic studies and two master’s degrees – one in leadership with an emphasis on crisis management and preparedness and another in public administration. He served as a police officer in New Mexico for 15 years, during which time he received the Distinguished Unselfish Police Service award and the Outstanding Commendation Award by the American Police Hall of Fame.