Born and raised in Las Vegas, Stephen Neel knew his path was going to be focused on public service from an early age. He began studying for his EMT Certificate directly out of high school. While on his third ride-along with the Clark County Fire Department, he met his wife, Alecia, and they were married in August 2001. Stephen and Alecia moved into Logandale in 2004.
“I like this small town. I love my neighbors and I love my community.” Stephen says. “I like that everyone knows everyone. There’s no hustle and bustle. When I go out on my back patio, I don’t hear sirens. I don’t hear gunshots…I smell farms.”
Upon his arrival, Stephen recognized a desperate need for paramedics in the area, so he quickly volunteered with the local fire department. During this time as a volunteer, Stephen became involved in helping to separate the local Moapa Valley Fire District from the larger Clark County district in order to improve emergency response times, which meant helping to recruit the first Fire Chief specifically devoted to Moapa Valley. He was as surprised as anybody when he was offered the position.
During his tenure as Fire Chief, emergency response times have been cut in half, critical EMT training is now being provided locally, and firefighting training standards have been elevated to match the training firefighters in Las Vegas receive.
From fighting fires, to extrication, and on the spot medical emergencies, Stephen commands a 57-person volunteer force, each member dedicated to keeping the community safe and protected.
“I love what I do,” says Stephen. “Every day is a new day—there’s not a single day that’s the same as the one before.” He continues, “I enjoy helping people and making a difference. I’m taking care of my neighbors and the community I live in.”
Update from 2023:
Stephen is honored to continue serving as the Fire Chief in our valley. During his tenure, he has implemented some great ideas and programs. The fire department opened a new office in Logandale where new EMTs are trained, which will help the department offer a higher level of service and reduce emergency and flood response times. They’ve implemented a wildland fire program that focuses on fire suppression, management, and control. They also started the Fire Explorer Program to teach Moapa Valley High School juniors and seniors about a career in fire and emergency services through classroom and hands-on training. Stephen loves that we are a small community where everyone knows everyone. He is thankful to raise his family here and be part of a community that has very little drama. Stephen is excited for all the growth and good things that will come to the valley in the future. Learn more about Moapa Valley Fire Department and follow them on Facebook.