Fire and Rescue Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why does a fire engine show up to my home, when I called for an ambulance?
    1. When a resident calls 9-1-1 for a medical emergency, the call is coded by the dispatch center, which prioritizes the call, based on the severity of the problem. Often, the fire truck company responds along with the ambulance to provide additional assistance to the paramedic and EMT.
  2. Why do I get a bill after being taken to the hospital by a Rio Rancho ambulance?
    1. Rio Rancho Fire Rescue holds a tariff from the state Public Regulations Commission which allows the city to charge a set fee for services provided by the ambulance crews. Every transport agency within the state has this same capability and will charge for transporting patients to the hospital. The billing department often sends the invoice to the patient’s insurance provider first.
  3. When can I burn weeds at my home?
    1. There are designated burn days, as determined by the on-duty Battalion Chief. He/she will make the decision based on weather conditions and the inherent fire dangers present at that time. Regulations for burning are for dry tumbleweeds only (no trash or large logs) that are kept in a cleared area. The pile must not exceed 3-feet by 3-feet by 3-feet high. A water source and shovel must be kept at the site and the fire must be monitored and attended to at all times. You can call the burn line at 505-891-7268 for the burn status. Please check it often as weather conditions change.
  4. How would I go about setting it up a tour of the fire station for a group of kids?
    1. You can call the Fire Marshal's Office at 505-891-5871 and request to schedule a school or community group tour of the fire station.
  5. Why do I see fire engines and ambulances at local restaurants and stores?
    1. Firefighters work a 48-hour shift and they live and work in the fire station during that period. They eat together during the day and will sometimes opt to eat at a local restaurant. They are on-call and prepared to respond at all times. They are required to stay within their designated districts for meals and while shopping for food to cook at the stations.
  6. What am I supposed to do when I see a fire department vehicle with their emergency lights and siren on?
    1. If you see emergency vehicles with their lights and sirens activated, you should “Pull to the Right and Stop.” This allows for the emergency vehicles to get to the scene quickly and safely
  7. How much training is required for firefighters?
    1. To apply for a firefighter position in the Rio Rancho Fire Department, you must obtain New Mexico State EMT license. After being hired by the department, the cadet will attend a 16-week academy. To maintain certifications and proficiency after graduating from the academy, a firefighter must participate in 24 hours of fire and EMS training each month. They are also required to maintain physical fitness during their duty hours.