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FARMINGTON — City councilors recognized the city’s fire chief Tuesday evening for completing a prestigious four-year federal academy.

“This achievement represents our fire chief attaining the highest professional credential that a fire chief can obtain and places Chief (Terry) Page in a small percentage of elite leaders that have accomplished this,” City Manager Rob Mayes said in an interview Wednesday.

Over the past four years, Page has flown to Maryland for four 10-day Executive Fire Officer courses. The U.S. National Fire Academy, under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, administers the course.

Page said the training taught him to critically scrutinize a fire department. The program encourages students to always look for ways to improve a department, instead of sticking with the status quo, he said.

But the biggest thing Page learned, he said, is the city’s fire department is not alone. He met many other fire chiefs from around the country, and he knows he can call them at any time when he needs advice.

“I’ve got a group of confidants that I can go to and absolutely know I can get a non-sugar-coated answer,” he said.

Dan Schwartz covers government for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4606.

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