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Debbie BrinkerhoffSteve Snider

Placitas Volunteer Fire Brigade: Above—Captain Debby Brinkerhoff and Assistant Chief / Medical Steve Snider

On Scene with PVFB

—Captain Tom

Having well-trained people is an asset to any volunteer fire department. Placitas Volunteer Fire Brigade (PVFB) is always willing to provide and pay for any training that will enhance our ability to serve the community, whether it is fire or medical. Some of the training may be a short weekend class, while others can involve months of classroom and “ride along” hands-on sessions. 

For medical training, it takes 160 hours to become an Emergency Medical Technician/Basic. An Emergency Medical Technician/Intermediate requires an additional 120 hours in the classroom and 80 hours of internship (hospital and ambulance). An Emergency Medical Technician/Paramedic requires an additional year and a half of training. PVFB is fortunate to have approximately 50 percent of its members medically trained as EMTs, and that number is growing. 

Several of our members have taken advantage of this extensive training and now have  outside jobs in the emergency medical field. With their on-the-job experience, this makes these members especially valuable to the Placitas community. Some of these volunteers joined PVFB with no previous medical experience! If you are looking for a second career, consider PVFB as a source of quality training. Call Captain John Wolf at (505) 771-3788 to explore these opportunities.

Meet Debby and Steve

Captain Debby Brinkerhoff is an EMT/Intermediate and has been a member since January 2003. Only her mother is allowed to call her Debra; we just call her Debby. She was born a Ferguson and is proud of her ancestors, who were kicked out of Scotland and sent to America for horse stealing. Debby is married to her college sweetheart, Bud, and they have three children and five grandchildren who all reside in New Mexico. She enjoys babysitting her twin grandkids once a week, and her hobbies include watercolor painting, golf, and building their cabin near Chama. She has worked as an enforcement manager for two different bureaus in the Environmental Department of New Mexico. Currently, she runs two small water systems in Placitas and works for Superior Ambulance. 

Debby has lived in Placitas 14 years and in New Mexico 22 years. She was born in South Dakota, but raised in Colorado. She went to college in Durango and San Jose, California. She has always been interested in the medical field and has a B.S. in biology and further education in environmental management. With her training from PVFB and her on-the-job experience, Debby is a real asset to the community. On scene, she is very confident and professionally calm. Her most memorable call was responding to a gentleman who had fallen into a cactus patch. She and Bud pulled about 200 cactus spines out of his backside. Debby remembers it as funny and difficult at the same time because she could imagine how badly he was hurting. It was funny because he had completely disrobed in an effort to remove as many spines as he could.

On a call, Debby would like to see everyone hand the EMS providers a current list of medications that they are taking now. This is very important for the treatment of the patient.   

Assistant Chief/Medical Steve Snider is an EMT/Paramedic and has been with PVFB for 26 years. During that time, he has been Firefighter of the Year and EMT of the Year and has served as chief. He and his wife Kathy have lived in Placitas for all of those 26 years. Besides volunteering for PVFB, he enjoys astronomy. He is a human resource consultant and also works for Superior Ambulance as a paramedic. Steve is cross-trained and is a Firefighter II. He has been an EMT/B for 14 years, an EMT/I for 6 years, and a Paramedic for three years. Steve became a member because he values serving the community and belonging to a great team. He would like to continue his firefighting/EMT activities for a long time. Steve is the kind of guy who is easy to work with. He knows what needs to be done and how to do it safely. As a high responder, it is always great to see him on scene.

Steve remembers two funny calls. Imagine being called to “a horse upside-down in an outdoor bathtub.” The horse was kicking furiously, and it was almost impossible to get close to it. Steve and his team had to crawl up and push the bathtub over without getting kicked to free the horse. The other funny call happened out on FR 165. A semitruck overturned and spilled its frozen load of spuds at a sharp turn. Mile marker 14 is now known as French Fry Curve.

PVFB Reminder: Join PVFB for the annual 4th of July parade through the village. If you don’t want to get wet, don’t stand next to kids with Super Soakers!! We will return fire, but with a bit less pressure than last year.

PVFB/SCFD: Making house calls 24/7.





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