Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988

  Public Safety

Placitas Volunteer Fire Brigade

Graduates of a recent recruit class for the Placitas Volunteer Fire Brigade.

Volunteer Firefighter

A volunteer firefighter gives a safetypresentation to the local preschool.

The Placitas Volunteer Fire Brigade needs you!

—Chief Bud Brinkerhoff 

Did you know that all Placitas Fire and Emergency Services responded to nearly five hundred fire and rescue calls last year? And as more people move into our community, that number is bound to increase.

As mentioned in last month’s Signpost, we are enhancing our equipment and facilities to meet the growing needs of our community by providing timely emergency response to fire and medical emergencies. Fundamental to this service is providing adequate personnel to respond, and we are asking you to consider becoming a member of our volunteer fire and rescue brigade.

The Placitas Brigade offers recruit classes twice a year and we are finalizing plans for a recruit class in March. No prior experience is necessary, as we provide a full gamut of training, beginning with a recruit entry-level course. This course prepares new members with the basic training to participate safely and effectively on emergency scenes.

The course runs for approximately forty hours and includes training in CPR, the incident command structure, hazardous materials awareness, radio and equipment familiarization, as well as tours of our district and the dispatch center. The course is held at the main station on weeknights and weekends to accommodate those with a working schedule and concludes with a scenario training with other responding members. New recruits will be provided all the necessary protective clothing as well as radios/pagers for communication effectiveness. All training and equipment is paid for and provided by the Placitas Fire Brigade.

Take this opportunity to make a valuable contribution to your community. To find out more, call John Wolf at 771-3788. He will answer any of your questions and invite you to attend a one-hour prospective member session giving more details on what it means to be a responding member of the Placitas Volunteer Fire Brigade.


 

Very few choices for New Mexico telecom consumers

Attorney General Gary King released a report showing New Mexico ranks dead last in America for telecommunications competition. The report, prepared by expert consultants to the Attorney General‘s office, shows only eight percent of New Mexicans are served by competitive telecommunications companies. By comparison, the states with the highest competitive penetration—Rhode Island and Arizona—enjoy forty-eight percent and thirty-four percent market share respectively by competitive communications companies.

“I am very concerned about New Mexicans being denied basic phone service or Internet connectivity and I’m asking the Public Regulations Commission to take long-term measures to protect the consumer,” says Attorney General King. “Since 1996 at the federal level and 2000 in New Mexico, policy makers and legislators have been trying to bring the promise of advanced communications at affordable rates to all New Mexicans, yet for a variety of reasons this hasn’t happened yet.”

The Attorney General believes that promoting telecommunications competition would lessen the need for government regulation. Factors such as disparities between wholesale and retail rates, relatively low population density, and resistance among the state’s largest phone companies (known as ILECs or “incumbent local exchange carriers”) have made New Mexico a difficult place to operate for many companies wishing to compete.

As the recent billing dispute between Qwest and SkyWi shows, consumers are not being adequately protected from service outages outside their control. In December and January, approximately seven thousand New Mexicans suffered a temporary dislocation of service when Qwest cut off SkyWi circuits over protracted billing disputes.

 

     

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