Thursday, October 10, 2013
On Oct. 10, 2013, the Bernalillo County Fire Department (BCFD) and the Albuquerque Fire Department (AFD) began full implementation of an automatic aid agreement within the metro area that allows the closest fire station to respond to fires or medical calls, regardless of jurisdiction.
“In an emergency, a delay can mean the difference between life and death. This new agreement will make sure that when people call 9-1-1, they have the fastest response possible from firefighters in the closest station,” says County Commission Chair Maggie Hart Stebbins. “City and county emergency response will no longer be delayed by jurisdictional boundaries.”
“AFD and BCFD have dramatically expanded their relationship which will provide a higher level of service to the citizens of the metro area,” says Mayor Richard Berry. “This is good news for public safety and our citizens. Collaboration is what good government is all about.”
“It has been a long time coming and a lot of people have worked hard on this project,” says Commissioner Wayne Johnson. “It’s finally realized and will result in increased safety in Bernalillo County and the City of Albuquerque.”
During the past two years, BCFD and AFD have implemented several agreements that have formalized the relationship between the two fire departments resulting in a higher functioning emergency response system. The automatic aid agreement will result in the closest fire station responding to emergency incidents that occur within the metro area. Full implementation covers the entire metro area, nine BCFD fire protection districts and 11 AFD fire protection districts.
“This collective effort will result in more effective emergency operations, more efficient use of resources, and a safer working environment for our firefighters,” says Albuquerque Fire Chief James Breen.
“Since May of this year, the automatic aid agreement has been field tested, with great success, in the North Valley,” says Bernalillo County Fire Chief Frank Barka. “Now we are ready to go countywide within the metro area.”
The automatic aid agreement demonstrates the commitment by BCFD, AFD and elected officials to deliver high quality, efficient, emergency services to metro area residents.
The agreements will:
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- Improve coordination between Albuquerque Fire Department and Bernalillo County Fire Department.
- Provide metro area residents with high quality, efficient, and effective emergency services regardless of jurisdiction or response agency.
- Improve the effective use of resources.
- Decrease response times in 37 response zones within the metro area.
- Implement inter-agency standard operating guidelines that are designed to standardize dispatch procedures and emergency operations in order to maximize operational effectiveness and increase firefighter safety.