Updated: May 21, 2020 11:27 PM
Created: May 21, 2020 07:35 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The Sandoval County La Madera Fire Station in the East Mountains may be handed over to Bernalillo County.
"This was something that was asked by Sandoval County administration, if we'd be interested in doing this because we have a great working relationship with La Madera to include their volunteers," said Lt. David Lujan, spokesperson for the Bernalillo County Fire Department.
Lujan says they already support the La Madera area if they have trucks available, and vice versa.
Under the new agreement, Lujan says the station would remain open. However, it wouldn't be manned right away.
BCFD would make the drive from the Frost Road station. He says response times from there average about 17 minutes.
"As far as is this going to effect or change anything, it really doesn't," Lujan said. "It's a positive thing we're going to be able to provide adequate resources to mitigate any situation we field."
However, Bernie Vaughan, a volunteer firefighter at the La Madera station said resources aren't his only concern.
"I think it's a bad idea because we get all of the support we need from Bernalillo County right now, so we're not really getting anything extra," he said. "We're really just losing what we have here."
Vaughan claims they will lose 18 volunteer firefighters.
Sandoval county officials say it's not about cost, but an issue of best practices, and in the interest of residents.
"We were heartbroken because it's one of those things where you build something up and you've worked for something and your team is your friends as well," Vaughan said.
The new agreement was supposed to be on Thursday night's Sandoval County Commission agenda, but it was removed. Commissioners say they've heard from many concerned residents. It's not clear what will happen next.
Copyright 2020 - KOB-TV LLC, A Hubbard Broadcasting Company