The Rio Rancho Department of Fire/Rescue Wildland Strike Team is an organized, deployable wild land firefighting team. The team is full "Red Carded" through the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) and we have several different types of deployable equipment. The team was established in 2000 and assisted in writing the Resource Mobilization Plan for the state. This plan allows fire departments throughout the state to participate in both wild land and structural protection operations. Ordinarily, the request for assets is submitted through the N.M. State Forestry office for mutual aid type deployments. We have been assigned to fire all over the state, including, the Gila National Forest, Sandia National Forest, Cibola National Forest and many others. We also deployed to southern California for the fires in San Diego and Los Angeles in 2007.
The types of equipment we deploy are:
2 Type 6 Engines
1 Type 2 Tender
1 Type 1 Engine
1 ALS Ambulance
Bulldozer and transport
We can also deploy a Fuel Tender which carries several hundred gallons diesel and gas for on site refueling of apparatus. Recently, some of our members have been assigned as Strike Team/Task Force Leaders, which is a single resource type deployment.
The Rio Rancho Fire/Rescue Wildland Strike Team has played a role in many fires in the state of New Mexico, and our role is increasing to eventually become a region resource for suppression and EMS on Wildland and Interface fires.
Heavy Technical Rescue Team
Rio Rancho Fire Rescue recently began to train members of the Heavy Technical Rescue Team (HTR). Eighteen members of the department are led by team manager, Battalion Chief Dave Patterson and assistant team manager Battalion Chief Chris Karriker.
To be part of this elite group, firefighters must gain expertise in several areas of technical rescue, including; Structural Collapse Rescue, Technical Rope Rescue, Trench Rescue, Swift Water Rescue, Confined Space Rescue, Large Animal Rescue, Heavy Machinery Extrication, Wilderness Search and Rescue and Hazardous Materials Response.
EMS Bike Team
The Rio Rancho EMS Bike Team is a highly visible specialty team with the department. The members of the team are all trained through a 32 hour IPMBA (The International Police Mountain Bike Association), and maintain their cycling skills with ongoing training throughout the year. The team carries all medical gear needed to begin patient care which includes basic lifesaving medications and an AED. The Team is utilized at local events where a highly maneuverable bicycle makes an ideal response vehicle. These events include the annual Pork and Brew and local races such as the Patriot Triathlon.