Sandoval Signpost
An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988
  Public Safety

The Luley family

Placitas Volunteer Fire Brigade responders Tom Luley, Pat Luley
and their daughter Sara Luley (center).

On Scene with PVFB

—Captain Tom

To many, the fire season may seem to be over. In reality, the fuel moisture levels are still low, temperatures are not very cold and, if a fire starts, it could spread easily and quickly into a major fire, even at this time of year. In mid-November, more than twenty homes burned in a wildland fire in Reno, NV. We still need to be careful.

This month, meet a family of volunteer firefighters—Tom and Pat Luley and their daughter Sara. After moving to Placitas from the Detroit, Michigan, area, they have all become active in the Placitas Volunteer Fire Brigade (PVFB).

Pat is an RN with CYFD and enjoys reading, counted cross stitch and computer games. She has been with PVFB for two-and-a-half years and is trained as a First Responder. She will soon be taking the EMT-B class with Tom and Sara. Pat loves the comraderie of the members—"such an interesting mix of volunteers with diverse experiences and backgrounds." She has had two memorable calls. Sandoval County officers were making a welfare check on a man who fell in his bathroom. They called the OMI, believing he had died. On scene, Pat realized he was still alive and started medical procedures. During another call, a man set off his emergency beacon while hiking in the Sandias.  After locating him, it was determined that he was fine and the patient was his dog. Pat comes to PVFB with valuable skills and is a real asset to the department.

Tom is a retired automotive engineer in powertrain development. He joined PVFB after noticing the big sign—"Looking for Volunteers." Tom says it has been a great way to meet people and help the community at the same time. He is not only a high responder, but has taken on a very valuable role in the department. He runs the maintenance for all the vehicles and equipment. This is a time-consuming and major responsibility. He has wildland training and will be taking the next EMT-B class. His most memorable call was his first house fire. He helped by filling air bottles and handing out tools, while Pat did rehab and Sara helped the firefighters. He thought it was good to be there with not only his immediate family helping out, but to be part of such a great team who worked together to save most of another family's house. Tom enjoys cars, boating, camping, and hiking.

Sara is studying to become a veterinary technician. After an internship this winter, she will graduate in March. She will also be taking the EMT-B class with her family. She enjoys volunteering at PVFB because she loves not only helping people, but knowing how to help them in emergencies. Sara is good on scene. She has a sense of what is going on and what needs to be accomplished and she is always concerned about family pets on emergency calls. When someone needs to leave in an ambulance, she checks to make sure the pets will be cared for. She enjoys reading, walking, volunteering at an animal shelter, and PVFB.

PVFB Reminder: Never be afraid to call 911. If you think you need help, call. Last week, we went on a call for a "stinky" kitchen drain.

PVFB Fact: Last month, we had 43 calls. Seventeen were fire calls—five of those were mutual aid. Twenty-six were EMS calls—one was mutual aid.

SCFD/PVFB: Still making house calls 24/7.

Two men die in fatal crash

—Sandoval County Sheriff’s Department

Floyd Vigil (23) and Francisco Velasquez-Angulo (21) were involved in a single vehicle crash on Interstate 25 at mile marker 247 at approximately 2:00 a.m. on November 12.

Vigil and his passenger, Velasquez-Angulo, were found unconscious in their vehicle by a passing deputy shortly after their vehicle left the roadway and rolled multiple times onto the East Frontage Road.

Vigil died at the University of New Mexico Hospital after being transported by PHI helicopter.

Velasquez-Angulo was pronounced deceased at UNMH late Saturday afternoon after he was transported by EMS.

Alcohol is a factor in the crash. No other vehicles or individuals were involved.

Man arrested after breaking into one house and causing disturbance at another

—Sandoval County Sheriff’s Department

Jaime Gomez (22) was arrested late Sunday night after breaking into the residence of an elderly woman and on a Probation Violation Warrant.

Gomez broke a window to gain access to the residence of a 72-year-old woman. While looking for the source of a noise, the woman saw an unknown man wearing red in her house, at which time he fled.

As deputies were speaking with the woman they received a second call for a disturbance at another residence on the same street.

Deputies located shoe impressions of the alleged suspect at both residences.

When Gomez was found hiding behind a third house, he was wearing a red shirt.

After being treated for minor injuries he sustained while breaking into the first residence, Gomez was taken to the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office for an interview. Gomez confessed to the Attempted Burglary.

Resilient Placitas coordinates third forum: Placitas Community Emergencies Preparedness

—Cosmos Dohner

On November 12, Resilient Placitas, a working group of the Las Placitas Association, presented the third of a series of community preparedness forums at the Sandoval County Emergency Operation Center on Petroglyph Trail. New Mexico State Forestry Fire Prevention and Outreach Program Manager Dan Ware told the group that a Firewise communities USA Recognition Program ( could help Placitas decrease the risk of losing homes in the event of wildfire. Wildland fire staff from federal, state, or local agencies are available to provide information about wildfire mitigation tailored to this community. They can help assess wildfire risks around homes and devise a cooperative network of homeowners, leaving it up to home owners, and the community, to identify and implement local solutions.

Johnny Trammell, Senior PNM Safety Consultant, talked about basic electrical knowledge and safety. He showed two videos and enhanced them with his own experience as a lineman to convince us to stay far away from downed high-voltage power lines and lightning strikes. Particularly informative were his instructions for occupants of an automobile that is under a downed live power line: stay inside the vehicle if it is not on fire. If it is smoking or on fire, get out of it by hopping clear of it with both feet together. The ground carries a powerful electrical charge, so it is important to keep feet together and shuffle, hop or roll to get away from the vehicle. Do not walk, as the distance between your feet creates a conduit for the charge in the ground, which may electrocute you.

Ira Shelton, NM Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief Ministry Coordinator, told of the life and property-saving assistance provided by Disaster Relief. There are more than seven hundred trained volunteers ready to staff two feeding units, one water purification unit, one shower unit, two recovery units, two power units, two rapid-response teams, an incident command unit, one disaster ministry advocate unit (chaplain), one communications unit, one childcare unit, and a drivers group. During the Las Conchas Fire in the Jemez Mountains Disaster Relief fed four hundred firefighters. The Ministry coordinates with Federal Emergency Management Administration and Sandoval County Emergency Management to provide assistance with remarkable generosity. Disaster Relief Ministry is coordinated through the Missions Mobilization Team of the Baptist Convention of New Mexico. Ira noted that different religious groups cover different niches in disaster relief to avoid redundancy and provide adequate coverage. For example, the Baptists sift through remains from house fires and clean up the area, while Catholic organizations help rebuild.

A workshop on May 7 at the Placitas Community Center included presentations by Sandoval County Emergency Management, Emergency Communications, Fire Department and Sheriff Office, American Red Cross, Cibola National Forest, and Dianne and Richard Sego.

A workshop on August 13 at the Placitas Fire Brigade Station along NM-165 included presentations by Cibola National Forest, Sandoval County Emergency Communications, Fire Department and Emergency Management, Valles Caldera Preserve and American Red Cross.

Complementing the Resilient Placitas series, Los Jardineros de Placitas is sponsoring a presentation on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. at Las Placitas Presbyterian Church called Fire and Emergency Preparedness—Being Prepared for a Home Emergency with Humberto Macias, District Chief, Sandoval County Fire Department, Placitas, District 4 as the featured speaker. For more information, visit

Holiday safety tips

—New Mexico Poison and Drug Information Center

The New Mexico Poison and Drug Information Center (NMPDIC) recommends the following tips to protect against a potential poisoning:

Food Preparation and Alcohol

  • Wash hands well with warm water and soap before and after food preparation, especially raw meat and eggs.
  • Wash utensils, containers, counter tops, and cutting boards well before and after food preparation.
  • Use separate cutting boards for meat products.
  • Cook all meats to the recommended internal temperature.
  • Refrigerate all perishable items no more than two hours after a meal.
  • Avoid storing raw meat above prepared food as contaminated fluid may drip or seep.
  • Keep all alcoholic beverages out of the reach of children and beware of unfinished alcoholic beverages—as little as 3 oz. of hard liquor can be fatal to a child weighing 25 pounds.

Holiday Decorations

  • Angel Hair is made up of spun glass, which can severely irritate the eyes and mouth, causing a lot of pain.
  • Snow spray can cause severe damage if sprayed directly into eye.
  • Do not ingest the liquid in snow globes as harmful bacteria can accumulate.
  • Keep all substances containing hydrocarbons, such as oil candle lamps, out of the reach of children; these products are extremely dangerous and can cause severe respiratory problems or may lead to death.
  • Beware of fireplace powders and logs that burn different colors as they contain heavy metals—symptoms include severe stomach pain and intestinal irritation.

Call NMPDIC at 1-800-222-1222 for any questions or poison emergencies





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