City, county fire crews team up to decrease response times

Updated: 10/11/2013 11:39 AM | Created: 10/11/2013 8:45 AM
By: Elizabeth Reed,

The Albuquerque Fire Department and Bernalillo County Fire Department are teaming up to decrease response times during fires and emergencies.

On Thursday, both departments began a new agreement that allows the closest fire station to respond to fires or medical calls, regardless of jurisdictional boundaries.

"In an emergency, a delay can mean the difference between life and death," County Commission Chair Maggie Stebbins said. "This new agreement will make sure that when people call 9-1-1, they have the fastest response possible from firefighters in the closest station."

The response agreement comes after more than two years of implementing changes between the county and city fire departments.

"This collective effort will result in more effective emergency operations, more efficient use of resources, and a safer working environment for our firefighters," Albuquerque Fire Chief James Breen said.

The partnership will decrease response times in 37 response zones in the metro area.

"Since May of this year, the automatic aid agreement has been field tested, with great success, in the North Valley," Bernalillo County Fire Chief Frank Barka said. "Now we are ready to go countywide within the metro area."

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