Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988

  Public Safety

Sandy EscarcidaMatt King

Placitas Volunteer Fire Brigade volunteers Sandy Escarcida and Matt King.

On scene with the PVFB

—Captain Tom Hansen

The Placitas Volunteer Fire Brigade (PVFB) has a rich and colorful history with many unique stories. In 2005, PVFB joined the newly formed and expanded Sandoval County Fire Department (SCFD), which is made up of an administrative staff, a career staff, and volunteers. 

PVFB, once made up of only volunteers, now has a county administrative staff, which keeps up with all the rules, regulations, and training and provides direction for the growth and needs of the area; a career staff on duty 24 hours a day who are cross-trained in fire and medical emergencies; and Placitas volunteers who respond to all calls. The volunteers are required to take the same training and pass the same written and hands-on tests as the career staff. These three groups work as a single team on calls.

Meet Sandy and Matt

Sandy Escarcida has been a PVFB volunteer for 10 years. She is an EMT-B (Emergency Medical Technician-Basic). Sandy, who has lived in Placitas all her life, is also a family partnership coordinator. She is married to Dana Army, has one son and one granddaughter, and likes cooking, hiking, yoga, and reading. She joined PVFB because she enjoys helping community members. At the time she joined, Sandy was looking for a more meaningful and gratifying experience. When asked about her most memorable call, Sandy replied that she came close to delivering a baby! 

On scene, Sandy has a calming bedside manner, while maintaining a high degree of professionalism. She is aware of the entire emergency. On a call with Sandy, I have seen her treat a man with a serious injury, stabilize him, walk him down a steep driveway, and load him in the transport ambulance. Most of us would have thought we were finished. But Sandy quickly realized that the patient’s wife, who had observed all of the trauma, was about to pass out. She responded immediately to her second patient.

Her skills have earned her many awards: the PVFB EMT of the Year for 2003, 2005, and 2009; and the PVFB Chief’s Award for 2004, 2006, and 2007. She has also been named the Sandoval County EMT of the Year.

Sandy often drives the rescue ambulance. She would like to see everyone have a street address on their house. “Minutes can be real important when there is medical emergency.”

Matt King is a firefighter/paramedic from the career staff. He is 32 years old, a native of Albuquerque, married to his best friend, Audrey, and has two children, Aedden (9) and Kyra (6). He began working in 2002 as an EMT-B for Albuquerque Ambulance. Shortly after that, he became an EMT-I (Intermediate) and in 2005 achieved EMT-A (Paramedic). He volunteered as a firefighter in the Village of Los Ranchos and then became full-time. He was trained there to be a Firefighter 1. In 2008, he joined the Sandoval County Fire Department. He also works as a part-time instructor at CNM in the EMS department, instructing various EMS topics as required. He was nominated for Paramedic/Firefighter of the Year by a colleague in 2009 and was given the award in March 2010 by Chief Kotila during EMS Week at the County Commission meeting. He is currently taking classes in fire science at CNM. His duties at SCFD include responding to calls for emergency medical services, fire suppression, natural gas leaks, swift water rescue, and standby services at public events. He enjoys his job immensely, hopes to be an officer in the future, and thinks his is one of the best jobs in America.

PVFB Fact: Our 40 members include 12 women and 28 men, plus 13 auxiliary members and five rig checkers.

PVFB Reminder: Can we find your house in the middle of the night? Have your address numbers prominently displayed. 

PVFB/SCFD: Making house calls 24/7.





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