Fire Department

  "I am honored and excited to have been selected as the fire chief. We have an enthusiastic and energized department seeking the opportunity to perform to its highest ability. I look forward to working with all members of the department and community to develop solutions to our current and future challenges."

  Fire Chief Steven M. Smith  


Steven M. Smith was officially promoted to head the Clark County Fire Department at a badge pinning ceremony on February 1, 2006. He is the eighth fire chief for the state’s largest fire department and one of the nation’s most visible.

Chief Smith, who has worked for the department since 1980, has been a county battalion chief since 1997. Battalion chief is the highest-ranking suppression position in the department. As battalion chief, he managed emergency response efforts at significant incidents, coordinated the training, inspections, community service requests and staffing of equipment for about 60 fire personnel in nine stations. Before that, he worked as a fire captain, a fire engineer and a firefighter/paramedic.

Shortly after joining the department, he helped fight the horrific MGM Grand fire on Nov. 21, 1980, which killed 87 people and injured 679. Three months later, he battled the Las Vegas Hilton fire, which killed eight.

Chief Smith, a former U.S. Marine, has been an active member of the community. He is involved in awarding an annual scholarship through the UNLV Athletic Foundation and three academic scholarships through the Clark County Public Education Foundation. He also has lent his support to the annual Susan G. Komen Foundation “Breast Cancer Run” and to Child Haven, a county facility for abused and neglected children. He is married to Jill Smith and has two sons.

Chief Smith oversees a fire department that is responsible for protecting the Las Vegas Strip, the largest part of the Las Vegas Valley, and a county the size of New Jersey. His purview also covers the resort townships of Laughlin, Primm and Jean. The department is an active one, responding to more than 101,000 incidents in 2005 – 3,809 fires, 74,287 medical calls and 23,649 other calls, including technical rescues, hazardous material incidences and false alarms. Volunteers responded to 2,150 calls.

The department’s total service area encompasses 7,910 square miles with an urban planning area of 293 square miles. In addition, the fire department also maintains one of only 28 Urban Search & Rescue Teams in the country, provides fire and rescue services to the nation’s sixth-busiest airport and maintains heavy rescue and hazardous materials teams.

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