CNM Fire Science Instructor Named Deputy Chief of Rio Rancho Fire and Rescue

It’s an important promotion for Jeffery Wenzel who actually got his start in fire fighting at CNM
November 15, 2022

When CNM Fire Science instructor Jeffery Wenzel was recently named Deputy Chief of Rio Rancho Fire and Rescue, he couldn’t help but think back to how his career started.

Out of high school he initially thought he would study welding but then fell in love with fire science and went through the CNM Fire Academy program and also earned his Fire Science associate degree.

“I realized pretty quickly that if I wanted to grow in this field I would need a degree that would set me apart and help me understand what the fire department needed moving forward,” Deputy Chief Wenzel says. “CNM made that possible.” 

After CNM, he went on to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree, and his continued education led to several promotions within the fire department. 

As he moves into his new role, Deputy Chief Wenzel is grateful to have lots of on-the-ground experience along with a solid education.

“In this position I am the second or third in command for the whole city,” he explains. “My experience and my education make me really well-rounded for this role.”

This mix of experience and education is something he now promotes. As an instructor to young firefighters, Deputy Chief Wenzel encourages them to finish the associate degree to broaden their potential career paths. 

“I want them to see that a degree carries weight, and promotions come with education,” he says. "CNM helps bridge the gap between experience and education.”

Looking back, Deputy Chief Wenzel says he wouldn’t be where he is now without CNM.

“CNM is the foundation of my success,” he says. “Every time I’ve needed something, CNM has made it accessible. I will always be a big advocate for the college”