We hope you enjoyed our story covering the brave men and women who serve as first responders throughout the Albuquerque area in our July issue. These are the men and women who run into the danger from which the rest of us flee. Here is a little more information about each of our subjects along with some great photos we simply couldn't fit in the article. We hope you enjoy this tribute—to those we call when we need help the most—as much as we enjoyed writing about them.
Eric Adair, Albuquerque Fire Department
Firefighters like Eric Adair are always playing a balancing act. From doing house chores to hitting the gym to retain strength, they are always working in the anticipation of a siren call, for which everything is dropped. “You never know what you’re going to get when the tone is going off,” says Adair. When it does go off, Adair is excited, feeling the adrenaline rush of the excitement to come. He’s done it long enough to know what to expect. “The fires are a lot of fun,” he says.
John Burley, Albuquerque Police Department
John Burley hasn’t seen too many Priority 1 calls—which are of the highest priority and usually involve dire circumstances—but he does recall a memorable experience of a possible drunk driver. “The driver wasn’t intoxicated, he was in cardiac arrest,” says Burley. “He didn’t have a pulse, but when the rescue team showed up they finally got a pulse and took him to the hospital. One of the most rewarding calls was the call letting me know the guy survived.”
Captain Peter Jarmosevich and driver Ricardo Trujillo, Albuquerque Fire Department Hazardous Materials Team
Captain Peter Jarmosevich is a Santa Fe native who spent one year at Albuquerque Fire Department's Station 4 before transferring to Station 13 eight years ago. Driver Ricardo Trujillo is an Albuquerque native. He previously working at Station 4 and recently received a promoted position as truck diver at Station 13 in May 2016. As the city grew, fire stations relocated and expanded, but memories of past remain in at Station 13. Jarmosivich says the station has been added to and the layout is a bit of a maze, but it is a home away from home during the 48-hour shifts.
If you read about the ride along ATM took with the AFD Hazmat unit at Fire Station 13, you know that the team handles more than just fire calls and Trujillo says that to be a part of the Hazmat Task Force for AFD Station 13, you have to be at the technician level; requiring three week of additional training including one week of chemistry, and two weeks of hands-on learning on how to control leaks and spills.
Commander Nate Jackson, Albuquerque Ambulance Service
Commander Nate Jackson serves as both a paramedic and commander for Albuquerque Ambulance Services, and says his love for helping people is what drives his passion. He says that AAS is responsible for transporting patients to the scene of the hospital and they collaborate with other Albuquerque public service departments. However, goals of AAS team members like Jackson aren’t limited to medicine. He says that they are also involved in social work and services for the communities like The Community Paramedic Program, which provides care to members of the community with less fortunate circumstances.
Richard Sedillo, Isleta Police Department
Richard Sedillo decided to return to policing after his time with Albuquerque Police Department. “It gives you a purpose, being in law inforcement,” he says. “I’ve done it for so long, it’s easy.” He values the more hands-on approach he has with people who’ve been incarcerated. “With APD, you would see the person you took into custody in court and that’s it,” he says. “With this job, you get to see them through the whole process and give them a chance to get back on their feet.”
Nicole Levaldo Laguna Pueblo Fire & Rescue
The camaraderie between Lt. Lion Duran and EMT intermediate and firefighter Nicole Levaldo is genuine, and it especially shines through during stressful situations or a bad call, says Duran. The team members at Fire Station 1 are just two of the 28-member task force that makes up the entirety of the Laguna Pueblo Fire & Rescue department. Levaldo says that comparing emergency calls in the rural pueblo community to the time she spent serving at the Rio Rancho Fire Department during clinical are similar, however the luxury of having a hospital 5 minutes away can be a challenge in Laguna.
James Brady, Lifeguard Air Emergency Services
James Brady’s two children love baseball, and the older one has taken to the idea of flying. With a pilot in the family, one would think you’d take any excuse to go fly. Well, that's not always the case in the Brady family. “I went flying with my wife onc; she doesn’t like to fly,” says Brady. “I let her fly the plane and she had fun, but has no desire to fly again.”
Victor Duran, Valencia County Sherrif's Department
In addition to being a sheriff with VCSO, senior deputy Victor Duran is a member of the Valencia County SWAT team, and his truck is fully equipped with a specialized bulletproof vest and tactical weapons. During our ride along he stresses the importance of humanizing the badge that his wife places on him every morning. “We’re not robots; we have feelings, families, and a beating heart,” he says. Duran’s goal every day is to make it home safe to his two sons his wife Sara. He says Sara worries about him often, but she knows that he conducts himself in a manner where he treats the public with respect and she knows he works with a good group of guys.