The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989


PVFB thanks Placitas residents for support; fire volunteers needed

The Placitas Volunteer Fire Brigade recently sent out flyers on our annual fund-raising drive. We are extremely proud and moved by the overwhelming response we have received from our friends and neighbors. The people in our community, by their generous donations, provide us with positive reinforcement that our service to our community is both recognized and appreciated. We hope to be able to purchase thermal-imaging cameras in the near future which will help us identify if there is extended fire in walls and ceilings of homes after the obvious fire is extinguished. These cameras detect heat sources beyond drywall, wood paneling, or other wall or ceiling surfaces and help firefighters “see” smoldering fires in these confined spaces.

It is very encouraging when the community provides financial support of the fire department. But we are also in need of volunteers to help with fire-and-rescue calls. The Placitas Brigade offers recruit classes in April and October of each year and we’re now beginning the process for our fall class. No prior experience is necessary, as we provide full training, beginning with a recruit entry-level course. This course prepares new members with the basic training to participate safely, effectively, and helpfully 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 and pagers for communication effectiveness. All training and equipment is paid for and provided by the Placitas department.

If you are interested in this opportunity to make a valuable contribution to your community, call John Wolf, 771-3788, for more information and to sign up for a one-hour prospective-member session giving more details on what it means to be a responding member of the Placitas Volunteer Fire Brigade.

Local EMT Winnie Maggiore recognized for twenty years of service

Winnie Maggiore was recently recognized by the board of the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians for achieving twenty consecutive years as a nationally registered EMT. This distinction is held by few EMTs.

Winnie was a “founding mother” of the Placitas Volunteer Fire Brigade in 1973, after a fire fatality in the village led to the formation of the PVFB. She got her EMT license in 1979 and her paramedic license in 1981, becoming a member of the National Registry in 1986, while working full-time as a firefighter and paramedic for the Bernalillo County Fire Department.

Winnie left the PVFB in 1992, after almost twenty years of volunteer service to the community, to pursue a career in law. As an attorney, she has worked on revisions of New Mexico state EMS legislation and administrative regulations that ultimately became law. She has represented EMTs and paramedics in various legal issues and is nationally recognized as a speaker and author on legal issues in pre-hospital emergency-medical services. Winnie is a contributing editor to the EMS Insider, a Journal of Emergency Medical Services publication. She maintains a column on the JEMS Web site,, and is an active member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, a professional member of the National Association of EMS Physicians, and a member of the National Association of Fire and EMS Attorneys.

Winnie returned to the PVFB in 2005, where she volunteered until recently as a paramedic and worked on department archives. If it weren’t for her busy work schedule and ever changing political climates in the department, she might have been there the whole time—thirty-three years.

Winnie says, “Volunteer EMTs are the backbone of emergency-medical services in Placitas and Sandoval County. They are hard working community-minded people who spend their personal time training and perfecting their skills to be there for the community in emergencies. Our volunteer EMTs deserve all possible support from county government and the community as a whole so that they can continue to be there when you need them.”



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