Former Carson City fire chief still values home, family, service

Stacey Giomi just can’t leave Carson City, the place he didn’t relish coming to some 38 years ago.

The city’s former fire chief, now in his new executive post at Nevada Health Centers, said when his parents moved to Nevada’s state capital he was a teenager who would have preferred staying in California’s Bay Area. He was 15 in 1977, and was facing a new world.

“To come from the Bay Area,” he said, “was a shock. I did not want to move here; now, I can’t see myself living any place else.”

Leaving the fire service after more than three decades was somewhat similar, though he’s excited by the new challenge of serving as director of facilities and emergency preparedness with Nevada Health Centers. The nonprofit, which is headquartered in Carson City, has multiple providers, clinics and centers serving women, infants and children in the Silver State’s cities and rural regions.

It was difficult to leave overseeing the fire department, health transport and emergency preparedness with the city because Giomi, Italian by heritage, is big on family. He said the fire service was much like family. It also was familiar territory after working his way up through the ranks to become chief in 2005. “It was hard because it’s a family environment,” he said. “You’re getting up and leaving a family.”

Yet his new firm gives him an opportunity to continue serving people — this time in the health care field — among them the uninsured, the under-insured, and those who are “geographically remote” in Nevada. “I will be on the road quite a bit,” he said, though he offices at the headquarters and clinic located on Research Way in Carson City.

He said his new employer is the largest federally-qualified health care organization in Nevada, has 16 health centers and other facilities, including two mobile programs, and registered 123,500 visits statewide last year. Those represented nearly 44,000 people, or “unduplicated visits,” with walk-ins welcome and increasing Medicaid volume.

“We’re very active in Clark County,” he said. “We’re very active in rural Nevada.”

Giomi said the firm deals with about 60 health care providers and has 360 employees statewide. He noted the large presence in Clark County includes five clinics, along with seven WICs (the centers serving women, infants and children). Yet the new chief of facilities, security and emergency preparedness for the nonprofit firm emphasizes the rural focus is important, too, just as is the urban presence.

“An awful lot of Nevada involves remote areas and people are passionate about living” in such places, Giomi said, the man who fell in love over time with a place he thought was pretty remote when he was in high school and left Northern California. He noted providers in rural regions are dedicated health care professionals who could live and work anywhere, but choose a rural lifestyle and serving their neighbors.

Giomi said he had a choice either to remain in fire service and go elsewhere, or to make a career move that kept in touch with his sense of purpose, which is serving others, while remaining in the community he came to love long since. His role now is to facilitate the pairing of those served with the firm’s providers in safe and secure environments.

“I’m excited about it; I’m excited about the mission,” he said, “I like it. It’s different, but it’s still about helping people.”

Perhaps such feeling for people, community and service is linked to Giomi’s familial feel for involvement with others, something he conveys whatever the topic. Likely it’s rooted in his own family. His Italian roots go back to the old country: both his parents were actually born in Italy, though they came to America as children. He holds dual citizenship, visits Italy when he can, and enjoys it even though home is definitely Carson City.

“I feel blessed growing up Italian,” Giomi said. “I like my heritage.”

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