Tucumcari Fire Chief Mike Cherry was appointed by Governor Susana Martinez to the state’s Fire Protection Grant Council.
“My interest in fire departments (was the reason I was interested),” Cherry said. “I thought my knowledge could benefit other departments.”
Gov. Martinez announced Cherry’s appointment in a press release, along with eight other appointments to various state council and boards.
Cherry has served as fire chief for the City of Tucumcari since 1995. He said his appointment will not interfere with his duties as fire chief.
The Fire Protection Grant Council is the governing body which approves the applications for grant funding from state fire agencies, said State Fire Marshal John Standefer.
Standefer said the Fire Protection Grant funds are a separate source of money which the state’s fire agencies can apply for apart from the State’s Fire Protection Fund.
“The council sets the requirements for agencies to apply for the funding,” Standefer said. “They also review the applications and are the voting party to deny or approve the applications.”
Cherry said he met with the other members of the council on Feb. 2, where they met with the Internet Technology staff of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission.
“We are in the process of developing an online application,” Cherry said.
Cherry said the online application, as well as the written application, will have requirements that the 388 fire agencies in the state must meet to apply for the grant monies. He said those requirements included showing a need for the funds and submitting of national fire information reports.
The council can award up to $100,000 per agency, Cherry said, but a 20 percent match is required.