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    Monday, October 14, 2019-8:17:19A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Dennis Mendiola appointed fire chief

(Office of the Governor) — Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios announced on Thursday the appointment of Dennis James C. Mendiola as the commissioner of the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

Mendiola will succeed assistant fire chief Juan A. Pua, who served honorably as acting commissioner since May.

Dennis James Mendiola

A former resident deputy commissioner serving the Rota Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services, former chairman of the Luta Soil and Water Conservation, a retired captain in the United States Army, and a son of Rota, Mendiola brings years of emergency management, environmental awareness, and military experience to DFEMS.

“Dennis is a young, driven, and accomplished public servant who has demonstrated leadership in every position he has held, whether it be in DFEMS, in the Army, or volunteering his time within the community on Rota. He is an advocate for protecting lives during emergencies and community service. Dennis is part of our priority to include residents from Rota and Tinian in our Cabinet. His experience and ability to work with our firefighters on all three islands will bring efficiency and innovation for the department. Lt. Governor Palacios and I are confident that he will serve the Commonwealth admirably,” Governor Torres said.

Mendiola intends to continue the work that DFEMS has done in terms of protecting the community during emergencies and to increase efficiency and to promote innovation in its services.

“I want to thank Governor Torres and Lt. Governor Palacios for this incredible honor to serve the Commonwealth in this capacity. It is my goal to ensure that our firefighters and emergency medical technicians promote our department’s mission of saving lives and protecting property,” Mendiola said.

Mendiola also thanked Governor Torres and Lt. Governor Palacios for including individuals from Rota and Tinian in their cabinet.

“This ‘One Marianas’ mindset is an important priority for this administration. For Corrections Commissioner [Wally] Villagomez from Tinian and myself from Rota to serve the Commonwealth really reflects bringing everyone from the Marianas together to make lives better for every single person who calls these islands home,” he added.

Mendiola said he looks forward to creating partnerships between the government and the community will be a very critical component to the effectiveness of DFEMS’ services.

“Collaboration with both government agencies and community organizations will be important in our work as firefighters and EMTs. My goal is to work with others and to really hone in on this ‘One Marianas’ mindset that benefits the people on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota. Working together will lead to collective success for our department and our government,” he said.

Mendiola received his bachelor’s degree in public administration with a minor in military science from the University of Guam. He is currently working on his master’s degree in public administration with a capstone in human resources from the American Military University.

Mendiola’s service in the U.S. Army encompasses training and certification in weapons of mass destruction, confined space operation, and Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear operations, along with numerous tours to several countries. He was commissioned as an air defense officer and was detailed to the Chemical Corps. After a medical discharge in 2015, Mendiola and his family decided to return home to the Marianas to serve his people.