The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989


Kyle Thornton, Deputy of Emergency  Medical Services for Sandoval County

Kyle Thornton, Deputy of Emergency Medical Services for Sandoval County

County fire department hires EMS deputy

Ty Belknap

The Sandoval County Fire Department recently hired Kyle Thornton to serve as Deputy of Emergency Medical Services. Thornton has been a paramedic for eighteen years, working for Albuquerque Ambulance and LifeGuard. He has been an instructor for the EMS Academy for the past nine years and continues to work part-time as a paramedic for Bernalillo Emergency Medical Services.

Residents of unincorporated Sandoval County voted last year in favor of a one-quarter-cent hike in sales tax to pay for the SCFD. When it gets up and running, the department will include all of the current volunteer fire departments as fire districts.

Thornton says that SCFD will augment rather than replace the volunteer departments and their estimated 290 members. “Dr. Frohman will continue to serve as medical director, and protocols won’t change much,” explained Thornton. “I will be involved with training volunteers and will be in charge of the quality-assurance program.”

Thornton said that the main change will be the additional of two full-time paramedic units starting July 1. SCFD will incorporate Bernalillo Emergency Medical Services and initially will lease the station from the Town of Bernalillo. “We will probably hire most of the full-time personal currently working at BEMS. Positions for six paramedics and six intermediate level EMTs have already been posted. All personnel will be cross-trained as firefighters,” he said.

Thornton is presently working with Chief Jon Tibbetts planning the service, developing and scheduling exams for new hires, and drawing up protocols and guidelines. He also responds to emergency calls to help out existing emergency medical services.


Free seminar on wildfire protection (Applebee’s lunch included)

Join the East Mountain Interagency Fire Protection Association, along with federal, state, and local agencies, for a fire-wise seminar and learn the latest in what you can do to protect your home, property, community, or business from wildfire. Information will be targeted towards the Bosque, East Mountains, and Placitas vegetation and community types.

This free seminar will be held at Bosque Preparatory School on March 12 from 8:00 a.m until 5:00 p.m. Lunch will be provided by Applebee's Neighborhood Restaurant. Registration must be received by March 1. For registration information, contact Karen P. Takai, Fire Information and Public Affairs, Sandia Ranger District, Cibola NF, at (505) 281-3304 or


To all Placitas, Bernalillo residents: volunteers needed!

Steve Snider
Placitas Volunteer Fire Brigade

Did you know that Placitas Fire and Emergency Services personnel are all volunteers? Did you know that the brigade responds to almost four hundred fire and medical calls each year? To meet the increasing demand, we are asking you to consider becoming a member of the brigade

The brigade offers recruit classes in April and October of each year. These are the only times that new members may join.

This is an entry-level course that prepares members with the basic training needed to participate safely, effectively, and helpfully in emergency scenes. The course runs for approximately forty hours and includes training in CPR, fire-ground safety, hazardous materials awareness, the incident command structure, radio operations, and equipment familiarization, as well as tours of our district and the dispatch center. The class is held at the main station on weeknights and weekends, concluding with a scenario training with the other members of the brigade, at which time recruits will be issued their equipment and a pager and will be able to respond to calls.

The recruit class is open to all residents of Placitas and Bernalillo. After successful completion of the recruit class, additional training opportunities allow members to gain certification as firefighters and emergency medical responders, including paramedics. All training is paid for by the brigade.

If you are interested in this opportunity to make a difference in your community, call John Wolf, 771-3788, for more information and to sign up for a one-hour prospective-member session so that you can make an informed decision about joining.


Do you have hail damage to your roof or stucco siding?

Larry Fosgate
Ameritech Roofing Systems

Many families who suffered damage to their vehicles from the October 2004 hailstorm that hit portions of Rio Rancho and Placitas may not be aware of damage to their homes which would warrant an insurance claim for a new or repaired roofing system or siding.

Insurance adjusters use a rule of thumb to determine if hail damage is sufficient to replace a roof. If there are ten noticeable strikes within a ten-foot-by-ten-foot patch of roofing, the system is a candidate for replacement. In addition, hail strikes on stucco or aluminum siding or garage doors are sufficient cause for replacement of those items.

Many of the adjusters employed to examine homes after the storm were not particularly focused on finding damage. Appraisers trained in insurance-adjustment techniques can often find damage which missed initial scrutiny. If you had damage to your fence, auto, or outbuildings, you surely had the same concentration of strikes on your roof and siding.

A quick check, without going on your roof, is to look at the aluminum vent covers. If they are dented from hail, your roofing system is a definite candidate for replacement. 

If you feel you have damage, and your insurance company has not been contacted yet, you can document the evidence with photos and file a claim before October 2006.

If the insurance company has already inspected your home and found no damage or only found marginal damage, you may still be able to receive a completely new roofing or siding system if the damage suffered is documented and photographed properly. 




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