Fire station lacks proper resources

Posted at: 08/18/2013 10:49 PM
Updated at: 08/18/2013 11:23 PM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Before Albuquerque Fire Station 2 can help those in need, it has to ask for help from other fire stations.

It simply does not have the resources at its newly built facility near Gibson and University.

Station 2 responds to an area that is about 9.5 miles, including the Kirtland Neighborhood, Isotopes Park and The Sunport.

The new fire station was built with enough space to house a rescue unit, but it still does not have one.

When Station 2 needs an ambulance and paramedics they have to call stations 1 or 3 for help.

On a call near Gibson and Yale on Sunday night, Station 3’s rescue unit and paramedics drove about two miles to an apartment complex to render aid.

Other times, rescue units have to travel further.

“It is very needed in my neighborhood,” said community activist Esther Abeyta.

Abeyta applauds city council member Isaac Benton’s new effort to buy an ambulance and to staff Station 2 with eight paramedics.

"In my neighborhood of San Jose we have a lot of chemical petroleum companies around us," said Abeyta. “If an accident were to ever happen we need to have first response, people that will come into our community and take care of that."

Benton and supporters say the addition would also cut down on response times.

It would cost $180,000 to buy an ambulance, according to the resolution.

Benton says that would come from money leftover in Station 2’s construction.

It would also cost $400,000 every year to staff and operate the new rescue unit.

The first year, Benton says would likely come from tax revenue which is up this year.

"It is essentially a higher than expected gross receipts tax and I'm a believer that that tax should be spent on public safety," said Benton.

“You might hear as a response from some in the administration that we really don't need this vehicle, that all we need to do in these stations is put a little bit of medical equipment on this truck and put an EMT on this engine. That's not the same as having the equipment."

AFD’s stations 4 and 10 also do not have a rescue unit.

Benton argues Station 2 needs it more because it serves a bigger area.

Benton will introduce the resolution at Monday night’s city council meeting.