The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988

Public Safety

Placitas Volunteer Fire Brigade

Firetrucks are ready to roll thanks to volunteer apparatus team members at the Placitas Volunteer Fire Brigade station

Fire Brigade recruits monthly rig check volunteers


As you can imagine, our apparatus needs to be in tip-top condition and ready to go at all times. We never know when the next emergency is going to occur. To insure that the equipment is always in good operating condition, we perform “rig checks” once a month on a Saturday starting at 10:00 a.m. Lunch is provided. It usually takes about two hours. We use a checklist and work in teams of two on each apparatus. We fix minor things as we go (low air pressure, etc.) and fill out a repair request for things we can’t fix on the spot. No mechanical expertise is required.

Also, on occasion, responding members are up all night fighting a structure fire. When we get back to the station, we are tired and some of us have to go to work, but we are not done. The apparatus that was used on the fire must be restocked and put back into operating condition. We are looking for members of the community to help us with rig checks and apparatus rehab after a fire.

Keeping the apparatus in top operating condition is vital to our mission to serve the community. If you would like to be a member of our apparatus team, please call me at 771-3788. Of course, we are also always looking for full responding members. If you would like information about becoming a responding member, you can call me at the same number listed above.

Black bears on the move around communities statewide


The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish responded to reports of two bears in May—one at Santa Fe High School and another at the New Mexico State Penitentiary. Officers captured a small female bear at the penitentiary and transported it to the Wildlife Center in Española, where it was given a health exam before its release. The bear that visited Santa Fe High School ran into a thickly vegetated residential area and could not be located. Department of Game and Fish and City of Santa Fe Animal Control officers were still searching in the area at press time.

Springtime in New Mexico usually means bears are on the move and looking for food in the mountains, foothills, and bordering communities throughout New Mexico. Often, young bears away from their mothers for the first time are looking for new territory—and food.

Residents and visitors in bear country statewide are reminded to take appropriate precautions to protect themselves, their property, and the bears. The Department of Game and Fish publishes a booklet, “Living with Large Predators,” which is available on the Department website,, or by calling (505) 476-8000. The booklet contains important information about bears, cougars, and coyotes, and how to avoid conflicts with them.

If you see a bear and consider it a safety threat, please contact your local Department of Game and Fish conservation officer, police, or sheriff’s office. You also can call the Department office in Santa Fe at (505) 476-8000, or area offices in Albuquerque, Raton, Roswell, and Las Cruces from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Cerebral Cavernous Malformation needs more research

U.S. Representative Tom Udall, D-New Mexico, is asking Congress to take a first step towards boosting research and education efforts related to Cerebral Cavernous Malformation (CCM), a relatively unknown illness more prevalent among New Mexico Hispanics than any other group. Udall’s legislation, introduced in the House yesterday, would commit the House of Representatives to recognize the critical need to increase research, awareness, and education about CCM.

CCMs are caused by abnormal blood vessels that form clusters, known as angiomas, in the brain or spinal cord. If the angiomas bleed or press up against structures in the central nervous system, they can cause seizures, neurological deficits, headaches, or hemorrhages.

The disease was common among Spanish settlers in New Mexico in the 1580s. Since then, it has been passed down through generations. New Mexico has the highest population density of the illness in the world, and tens of thousands of New Mexico Hispanics may be affected. Because the disease has attracted little scientific or medical attention, however, the precise number of occurrences is unavailable.

United Blood Drive comes to Placitas

La Puerta Real Estate Services in Placitas is sponsoring a blood drive to help support United Blood Services on Friday, July 11 from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. The deadline for sign-up is Thursday, June 19. Refreshments will be served.

Contact Lynn Koch at 867-7473 to reserve your spot, or email



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