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  Public Safety

Chad Kizer

Ron Eisenhart

Placitas Volunteer Fire Brigade volunteers Chad Kizer (top) & Ron Eisenhart working on “the truck.”

On scene with PVFB

—Captain Tom

The Placitas Volunteer Fire Brigade (PVFB)/Sandoval County Fire Department (SCFD) has 15 different types of emergency vehicles: engines, rescues, tenders to carry water, brush trucks, a service truck, SUV transport vehicles, and chief’s and assistant chief‘s vehicles. All of these must be kept ready to go. After each call, time must be taken to replenish anything that was used, such as water, Band-Aids, and oxygen. In addition, a monthly rig check is done to all vehicles to double check supplies and to check things like tire pressure, fan belts, lights and sirens, water levels, and expiration dates of medical supplies. Power tools, generators, and pumps are started and checked over. The career staff rig checks all Station 43 vehicles at the beginning of each shift. The volunteer staff rig checks everything housed at Stations 41 and 42, usually on the first Saturday of the month. Each vehicle has a check sheet from three to seven pages long. This is a tedious job to do month after month; however, PVFB has “rig checkers” who work with firefighters and medical volunteers to perform this necessary function. No formal training is required, just a desire to help. Lunch is provided since this task takes four to six hours. As part of our team, these volunteers also are invited to the annual appreciation banquet in February. Rig checkers are greatly appreciated! If you would like to give this a try, call Captain John Wolf at (505) 771-3788.  

Meet Ron and Chad

Ron Eisenhart has been a PVFB rig checker for three years. He and his wife Sylvia, an artist, have lived in New Mexico for 21 years and Placitas for 15 years. Ron is 78 years young. He retired from Bell Labs as an engineer who designed telephone-switching systems. He joined the brigade to help the firefighters.

Chad Kizer joined PVFB as a rig checker four years ago. After a short period of time, he took the recruit class to become a member. He then trained as an EMT-B and a Firefighter 1. He has been a lieutenant and, as of November, has advanced to battalion chief, making him responsible for one of the stations and all of its equipment. Chad is married to Sheri, who is director of finance at Sandia Casino. They have two daughters who occasionally help their dad out at the fire station. Chad has lived all of his 40 years in New Mexico; he has lived in Placitas for five years. Chad is the owner of Kizer Insurance. He enjoys golf, soccer, and hunting. 

When asked about his most memorable calls, Chad, with his typical sense of humor, related the story about a woman who called 911. She explained she had wrecked her car. When Chad arrived on scene, her car was fine. She just needed someone to drive it up her driveway in the snow! On another call on Rt. 165 in the S curves, Chad laddered up the side of the hill to rescue a little dog that needed help getting down—truly “above” the call of duty in our animal friendly village.

Chad is a high responder and has won the Chief’s Award—EMT in 2009 and the Chief’s Award—Fire in 2010. He has taken on many responsibilities in his short time with PVFB/SCFD. We are fortunate to have Chad as a member. When I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, he responded “treasure hunter.” Good luck with that!

PVFB Fact: When making a 911 call, you will be asked questions about the emergency. Be prepared to answer. If it is a medical call, you will need to give an approximate age of the patient and details about what is going on. You will have to give a street address. Please do not shorten it, but give the full name. Placitas has many street names that share common words. It may be helpful to give a major cross street.

PVFB Reminder: With the current fire conditions, you should think about being prepared. A good site with a checklist is www.nmdhsem.org. Go to the Preparedness section for helpful advice on evacuation. Another site for preparing the grounds around your house for fire season is www.emnrd.state.nm.us/FD/. I recently attended the East Mountain Interagency Fire Protection Association meeting and learned quite a few tips:

  • Modern gasoline cars may stop running in heavy smoke; get out early. 
  • If the local phone lines are blocked from overload, it is sometimes possible to make long distance calls. Have a contact number for your family that is out of state. 
  • Get your information from a radio or TV, not by phones.
     

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