Los Alamos County Council Declares April 19, 2022 ‘Norma Jean Valdez Day’

Los Alamos Fire Department Senior Management Analyst Norma Jean Valdez holds a proclamation she received Tuesday evening from Los Alamos County Council declaring Tuesday, April 19, 2022, ‘Norma Jean Valdez Day’. Pictured are, from left, Deputy Fire Chief Steve Dawald, Councilor Keith Lepsch, Valdez and Fire Chief Troy Hughes. Photo by Leslie Bucklin/LAC

Los Alamos Fire Department Senior Management Analyst Norma Jean Valdez receives a standing ovation Tuesday evening from Los Alamos Council Council and County staff. Photo by Leslie Bucklin/LAC


Los Alamos County Councilors on Tuesday evening proclaimed April 19, 2022 “Norma Jean Valdez Day” noting that as a “trailblazer civilian, woman and Hispanic, she has brought international recognition to Los Alamos and New Mexico” being awarded the Center for Public Safety Excellence’s 2022 Chief Ray Picard Award. The full proclamation reads as follows:

Proclamation Declaring Tuesday, April 19, 2022, as “Norma Jean Valdez Day”

WHEREAS, the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE), a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to helping high-performing fire departments and emergency services professionals continuously improve; and  

WHEREAS, the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI), an entity under the CPSE, established in 2000 the Ray Picard Award to recognize his vision in pioneering quality improvement for the fire and emergency services; and

WHEREAS, the award’s namesake, Chief Ray Picard, was one of the earliest champions of the self-assessment and accreditation process that has led to a culture and paradigm shift within the fire service; and 

WHEREAS, this award is presented annually to an individual who exemplifies the ability, character, dedication, leadership, and visionary attributes Chief Picard exhibited; and 

WHEREAS, the selected individual personifies Chief Picard’s contributions and exceptional leadership to the CFAI and the accreditation of the fire service organization; and 

WHEREAS, the recipient of the 2022 CPSE Ray Picard Award is Senior Management Analyst Norma Jean Valdez with the Los Alamos County (NM) Fire Department, a CFAI Accredited Agency; and 

WHEREAS, Ms. Valdez is the first New Mexican, Hispanic, civilian, and woman to receive the award. She has been involved with accreditation since the beginning, when Los Alamos was selected as a beta site for the accreditation process; and 

WHEREAS, Ms. Valdez’s colleagues describe her as “good to her core”, “a true role model for how to live your life in service to others,” and as having “vision, dedication, heart, balance, determination, and the desire for continuous improvement to keep LAFD’s accreditation quest alive and striving, always being the one to carry the torch towards success”; and 

WHEREAS, Ms. Valdez serves as a champion of the accreditation process, both in New Mexico and beyond, and exemplifies the spirit of Ray Picard.

NOW, THEREFORE, on behalf of the Council of the Incorporated County of Los Alamos, I do hereby proclaim Tuesday, April 19, 2022, as: 


As a trailblazer civilian, woman and Hispanic, she has brought international recognition to Los Alamos and New Mexico. We commend Norma Jean Valdez for this prestigious honor from the CPSE and say “thank you” for championing excellence and leading the Los Alamos Fire Department in continuous quality improvement to realize the highest level of CFAI accreditation. 

DATED this 19th day of April 2022

Randall Ryti, Chair

Los Alamos County Council