Briefs

FEMA hosting job fairs to help it run $2.5B claims office for NM fire victims

By: - December 8, 2022 10:27 am

FEMA workers stationed along a road at a disaster recovery center in Glorieta, following the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire in late May. (Photo by Bright Quashie for Source NM)

FEMA job fairs for HPCC Fire Claims Office

Wednesday, Dec. 14

Santa Fe Community Convention Center

201 W Marcy Street

Santa Fe, NM

9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 15

Old Memorial Middle School

947 Legion Drive

Las Vegas, NM 87701

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency on Thursday announced two job fairs next week to find locals able to help the agency administer a mult-billion-dollar program aimed to compensate victims of the biggest fire in New Mexico history. 

FEMA is working to set up the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire Claims Office, which was created by an act of Congress in late September. 

Because the federal government accepted responsibility for starting the 340,000-acre fire in April this year, Congress appropriated $2.5 billion to fully compensate victims for losses they suffered. President Joe Biden has also asked Congress for an additional $2.9 billion. 

To spend that money and investigate damage claims, FEMA needs to hire employees for what officials say is a completely separate office within the agency. They are hoping to hire as many New Mexicans as possible, according to Angela Gladwell, the FEMA official who is running the new claims office. 

The agency is hiring for a range of jobs, according to a news release, including the role of “ombudsman” for the office. Salaries range from a little more than $55,000 to more than $123,000, according to FEMA. 

According to the agency, the “ombudsman” will work with fire victims to help them understand the process and also resolve conflicts, along with being involved making any necessary changes to the process. It pays up to $123,000 a year. 

FEMA opts not to hire a New Mexican to rule on claims for Hermit’s Peak-Calf Canyon Fire

FEMA is also hiring “customer navigators,” a position that lawmakers have been asking for. They’ll work with fire victims and the claims office to come up with solutions for applicants, according to a job description. That job pays up to $123,000 a year, as well. 

Additional positions FEMA wants to fill:: 

  • Claims representative
  • Public affairs specialist
  • Inventory management specialist
  • Supply management specialist
  • Mobile communications vehicle operator

Job descriptions can be found here

The employees would work at sites in Santa Fe, Mora or Las Vegas, N.M. 

Applicants must be U.S. citizens, at least 18 and have a high school diploma or GED. They also must pass a background check that includes fingerprinting and a credit check. Interviews might be conducted on-site or scheduled for later, according to a news release from FEMA. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Patrick Lohmann
Patrick Lohmann

Patrick Lohmann has been a reporter since 2007, when he wrote stories for $15 apiece at a now-defunct tabloid in Gallup, his hometown. Since then, he's worked at UNM's Daily Lobo, the Albuquerque Journal and the Syracuse Post-Standard. Along the way, he's won several state and national awards for his reporting, including for an exposé on a cult-like Alcoholics Anonymous group and a feature on an Upstate New York militia member who died of COVID-19. He's thrilled to be back home in New Mexico, where he works to tell stories that resonate and make an impact.

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