UNM opens Mem­ory and Ag­ing Cen­ter

AFD send­ing two trucks, six per­son­nel

Albuquerque Journal - - METRO & NM - BY MAG­GIE SHEPARD JOUR­NAL STAFF WRITER

UNM Health Sci­ences Cen­ter opens its Mem­ory and Ag­ing Cen­ter, of­fer­ing ser­vices for peo­ple liv­ing with Alzheimer’s dis­ease and other forms of de­men­tia.

Fire de­part­ments from around the state are dis­patch­ing some of their wild­land fire­fight­ing per­son­nel to help fight blazes burn­ing north of Los An­ge­les.

Six wild­land fire trucks and 18 fire­fight­ers from five dif­fer­ent de­part­ments de­parted Thurs­day morn­ing from Al­bu­querque headed for the Chino Hills-area emergency com­mand cen­ter in Cal­i­for­nia, Al­bu­querque Fire Depart­ment Lt. Brian Fox said as crews gath­ered at the AFD train­ing cen­ter.

Fox said Cal­i­for­nia ac­ti­vated the Emergency Man­age­ment As­sis­tance Com­pact, the agree­ment be­tween states to share emergency re­sources, Wed­nes­day morn­ing ask­ing for New Mex­ico and other states to send wild­land fire re­sources.

Al­bu­querque Fire Depart­ment is send­ing two trucks and six fire­fight­ers, and fire de­part­ments in Los Alamos, Ber­nalillo County, Cor­rales and San­doval County each are send­ing one truck and three fire­fight­ers.

“It’s our duty to com­mu­nity,” said Los Alamos driver and en­gi­neer Van Leimer.

He was among the group that traveled to Cal­i­for­nia about four months ago for sim­i­lar mu­tual aid.

This round of help will likely wrap up in time for the crews to re­turn to New Mex­ico for hol­i­day cel­e­bra­tions.

“We hope to be home by Christ­mas, be­cause the crew is mak­ing a huge sac­ri­fice with their fam­i­lies,” Fox said.

AFD In­terim Fire Chief Gil San­tis­te­van said fed­eral funds re­im­burse lo­cal depart­ment’s ex­penses and that de­part­ments don’t send out more staff or re­sources than can be spared.

“Front­line op­er­a­tions won’t be im­pacted,” San­tis­te­van said.

Other states have also re­sponded to the emergency call for help.

JIM THOMP­SON/ JOUR­NAL

Al­bu­querque Fire Depart­ment Wild­land Task Force fire­fight­ers Eric De La Torre and Justin Moore go through their check­list Thurs­day morn­ing to make sure that the truck is fully sup­plied for their trip to help bat­tle fires rag­ing north of Los An­ge­les, Calif.

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