Sandoval Signpost


An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988
  Public Safety

BLM warns of smoke plumes from planned burns

Signpost Staff

The Bureau of Land Management has announced two prescribed burns, although one may already be over if its schedule held. The first one, planned during the last week of November, is to cover about twenty acres of nonnative salt cedar and Russian olive along the Perea Nature Trail in the Rio Salado Riparian area. That’s about a mile south of San Ysidro making the smoke visible from U.S. Highway 550 where signs will be posted alerting motorists to the burn.

The BLM says historic land use and fire suppression have interrupted the natural routine in the fire-dependent ecosystem increasing the fire risk and reducing wildlife habitat.

The second burn, scheduled to begin December 1, will cover three hundred acres in the Ignacio Chavez and Chamisa wilderness study areas. Those are about 15 miles southwest of San Luis and extend into McKinley County. The area is also known as Mesa Chivato and, while populated by ponderosa pine, piñon and juniper, it has the same problems with fire suppression, increased fuel load, and loss of historic habitat as the Rio Salado. The wilderness study areas have the added risk of catastrophic crown fires.

Smoke may again be visible from U.S. 550 although signs indicating a prescribed burn are only planned for BLM Road 1103.

Rio Rancho Police Explorers seek toy donations for under-privileged children

—Michael Geier, Chief, Rio Rancho Police

The Rio Rancho Police Explorers Post 911 is in need of the community’s help as they gear up for the Annual Christmas Party for underprivileged children in Rio Rancho. Every year for nearly fourteen years, members of the RRPD Explorers Post have joined with Rio Rancho Police Officers to help provide Christmas for about 250 children every year. This event would not have such a vibrant history if it were not for the generous assistance from local businesses and community members.

We are in need of new unwrapped toys for boys and girls between the ages of three and 12. Donations can be dropped off at the Rio Rancho Police Department located at 500 Quantum Road, the Esther Bone Memorial Library, or the Loma Colorado Library. Though donations of toys are preferred, interested parties may make financial contributions for the event to the Rio Rancho Police Explorers Post 911 by check.

This year’s event will be held on December 10, and we hope to have preparatory activities finalized by December 5. It would be greatly appreciated if donations could be in before December 5 so that sorting and wrapping can be completed.

“We’ve Got Your Back” program—Saving the rescuer

—Jessica Duron-Martinez

According to the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance, last year 104 firefighters in the United States committed suicide.

“When we take off all of this, all of our uniform, we’re just human beings, too,” Captain Ryan Floersheim, from Rio Rancho Fire Rescue said recently.

Firefighters are no different than anyone else when it comes to the stresses of life. Relationships, kids, finances, and other daily stressors affect our lives in the same way as everyone else. However, compounding this stress at home is the stress of being on the front-lines to witness the trauma and emotions associated with the incidents in which we respond. This increased incident stress can lead to signs of mental strain, post traumatic and acute stress disorders, or even suicide.

In an effort to address these issues, Rio Rancho Fire Rescue (RRFR) has begun a new program. “We’ve Got Your Back” is the RRFR Peer Support Team and Behavioral Health Program has been implemented and is available to all members of service and their families. A brochure and a website explaining the program have been produced and is available for all firefighters who may be looking for resources.

In addition, RRFR is partnering with neighboring fire and EMS agencies to develop the Metro Peer Support Team. Each of the participating departments are developing their own behavioral health support programs, but by cooperating and sharing in the planning, development, and implementation of each program, we are aiming to have uniform training, guidelines, and oversight.

RRFR is currently working with Albuquerque Fire Department, Albuquerque Ambulance Service, Bernalillo County Fire Department, and the recent addition of Los Alamos Fire Department, to develop a regional team for all responders in the metro area.

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