The fire and EMS services of Valencia County, Los Lunas, Belen, Rio Communities, Peralta and Bosque Farms have a problem; you could be the solution we are looking for.
These services all operate a volunteer fire component. In the case of Rio Communities, Peralta and Bosque Farms, they are the only component. Valencia County, Belen and Los Lunas have a career staff that is the primary response, however the county relies heavily on volunteers as well sense the career staff only cover from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Here in lies the problem: volunteers are harder to come by these days it is a national problem. So when you call or your family calls, is someone going to respond? As volunteers, we all have other jobs and families so we can’t always be there.
With more volunteers, we can ensure more coverage and a better response to the citizens and visitors of the community. It will also ensure a bigger response to critical calls so all the current career and volunteer staff work in a safer environment. Safety is our first priority; we want everyone to go home at the end of the day.
There are many benefits to becoming a volunteer. You will receive all necessary equipment and uniforms. Your training is also free through the state fire academy and most departments will pay for some EMS schooling. Most of the departments also offer a stipend or pay per call set up. This provides you as the volunteer some compensation for your time.
Some departments have a junior program, which allows participants to be under 18. Most departments also have an auxiliary for those of you that may not want to fight fires. There are other ways to serve and this is also a good way for the spouses of the member to also get involved. The departments also have a tradition to celebrate holidays and other special events together, much like any other family would.
I’m sure by now you are curious how you can start this new adventure in your life. Well we have you covered. Contact your local agency or pick one you would like to try and they will happily guide you through the process they are all different and each agency has their own guidelines as far as specific requirements.
The contact information is all below; this awesome opportunity is just a phone call or click away.
The Valencia County Fire Department includes the following fire districts:
• Valencia-El Cerro
• Meadow Lake
• Los Chavez-Highland Meadows
• Jarales, Pueblitos, Bosque
444 Luna Ave.
Los Lunas, NM, 87031
Los Lunas Fire Department
465 Sand Sage Road
Los Lunas, NM, 87031
Peralta Fire Department
Peralta, NM, 87042
Bosque Farms Fire Department
1455 W. Bosque Loop
Bosque Farms, NM, 87068
Belen Fire Department
198-100 S. Fifth St.
Belen, NM, 87002
Rio Grande Estates Fire Department
108 Rio Communities Blvd.
Rio Communities, NM, 87002
(Justin Reser is a career lieutenant with Valencia County Fire Department. He started as a junior volunteer in Bosque Farms and was also a volunteer for Rio Grande Estates.)
The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.