Albuquerque Fire Rescue is getting 14 new paramedics.
A step toward helping deal with the growing number of emergency calls.
AFR has one of the highest call volume per firefighter in the nation. Last year, they ran about 107,000 calls.
The city doesn’t have nearly enough paramedics to go around.
While all firefighters have basic medical training, only paramedics can perform advanced life saving measures, including administering drugs, putting in breathing tubes and advanced care for heart attacks.
Thursday, 14 paramedics graduated. While that sounds like a lot, it’s a small step in filling a void.
“Last year, Engine 11 and Rescue 11 ran over 12,000 calls in the year at that one station, so you can imagine with our call volume being at 107,000, two units taking that many medical calls, they’re some of the busiest in the country,” Deputy Chief Emily Jaramillo said.
AFR is also restructuring the department to allow EMT’s to deal with more calls paramedics traditionally handled, to free them up for higher priority calls. AFR is also working with regular 911 callers to get them the resources they need so they don’t resort to calling 911.