Facts about RRFD Local 4877
· City incorporated in 1981
· Coverage area of 104-square-miles
· Fire Department started as a volunteer organization
· Department of Public Safety system implemented
· Police, Fire, and EMS were staffed by cross-trained responders
· Police and Fire divisions formed in 2001
· Fire Department separated from Department of Public Safety in July 2007
Emergency Medical Services
Rio Rancho Fire Rescue is the sole provider of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) within the City of Rio Rancho. The Department has a long history of providing quality emergency medical services to the residents of the city and surrounding area. Every member of the department is state licensed as an EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate, or an EMT-Paramedic. All personnel are also required to have regular updates in Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation. Paramedics must maintain their certification in Advanced Cardiac Life Support as well.
The EMS Command staff consists of one EMS Battalion Chief, who is assisted by an EMS Captain with the tasks of training and Quality Assurance. They work under the direction of the Fire Chief, the Deputy Fire Chief and the Medical Director.
Minimum training requirements to become licensed as an Emergency Medical Technician at the Basic level requires a 140-hour class that will allow the individual to sit for the New Mexico State licensure test conducted by the Department of Health. To continue on to the Intermediate level requires an additional 110 hours of curriculum and skills enhancement. These students will also be required to sit for an additional state exam.
To become a National Registry Paramedic is a rigorous process of 11-months of full-time classroom work with clinical rotations in the hospital and ambulance settings. These students are educated in cardiology, respiratory, neurology, medical-legal, pediatrics, environmental, OB/GYN, gastro-intestinal, pharmacology, and anatomy and physiology. After completing the paramedic training academy, they are allowed to take the National Registry exam, which consists of a written test and 12-skills stations.
Maintaining state and national licenses requires continuing education during the two-year licensure period. Each EMT must attend a 24-hour refresher course, and Paramedics must complete a 48-hour refresher. In addition, all of these medical providers must obtain continuing education hours in various aspects of pre-hospital care. These requirements range from 24 to 48 additional hours each year.
Additional training requirements include CPR, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support, and maintaining skills such as; airway management, intravenous medication administration, and cardiac arrest care.