Kalena Trujillo was born and raised in Questa. She recently graduated from Taos Academy while completing phlebotomy school and finishing her first year as a Questa junior fire fighter, an impressive feat for someone who is just 18 years old. “The most difficult part was running calls at all hours of the night and staying for hours on end while also having to go back home and doing homework on sometimes no sleep,” Trujillo says.
Trujillo grew up seeing her mom and dad working in fire and EMS, so the field has always been a familiar one. She describes a big catalyst to her wanting to serve as a junior fire fighter was her experience getting to see their work on the frontlines. “One day as I was coming back from school in Taos I stopped by my mom’s work, and they were paged out for a wildland fire. My mom had forgotten some of her stuff at the EMS base asked me to take it to her. When I got to the scene, I decided to see if there was anything I could do and since then I was hooked,” she says.
Training for junior fire fighters is very similar and demanding to the rest of the members of the fire department, however, the program is aimed at limiting the exposure to trauma for its junior members.
In addition to being a junior fire fighter, Trujillo has also served her community through the Vida del Norte Coalition. She intends to move to Albuquerque to work on her clinicals and continue to pursue her career in phlebotomy.
Without hesitation, Trujillo says her mother Raynelle Cordova has been her biggest role model. “My mom was my biggest motivation. All my life she has pushed me to do my best. She’s been my biggest role model growing up.”
Trujillo intends to remain an active member of the Questa Fire Department and aims to be involved during trips home, and overall, she wants to be available whenever her fire family needs her. When asked what advice she would give to younger generations, Trujillo says, “live in the moment and don’t worry about the future because if you focus too much on the future you miss the memories being made right in front of you.”