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Photo by Dylan R.N. Crabb Firefighter is participating in extinguisher drill

Firefighters Train to Increase Readiness to Respond in Northern Taos County

Photo by Dylan R.N. Crabb Firefighters can be seen rolling hoses

Over 70 men and women from 11 different localities gathered for an annual firefighter training exercise, from September 15 through September 17.

The fire departments of Latir, Carson, Taos, Costilla, Moreno Valley, Taos Ski Valley, Taos County, Rio Fernando, Dixon, Red River, and Sierra Benita Rincon participated, with command and general staff over 70 firefighters and two state fire marshals. They converged at a training site about five miles west of Red River, near a local water sanitation facility.

Raynelle Sanchez-Cordova was this year’s Incident Commander, assuming the lead for the safety of 70 participants involved in the exercise. Kristina Ortez, Rita O’Connel from Martin Henrich’s office, and Senator Roberto Bobby Gonzales were all in attendance to see what goes into the work it takes to prepare local responders.

According to public information officer jona olson, structures had been constructed at the site for simulations, allowing trainees to learn how to negotiate entry into buildings that are on fire. There is also a large tower for ladder simulations. Trainees learn three distinct skills at this training: (1) how to roll out and handle firetrucks’ water hoses; (2) how to control water movement; and (3) how to move in, out, and around fire, as well as effectively utilize a variety of fire extinguishers.

This September training is conducted annually with more than 450 firefighters having been trained since 2001.

Local fire departments are always looking to recruit new members. If you’re interested in joining, contact your local fire department.