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Albuquerque Fire Rescue Obtains New Fleet Facility

New Fleet Facility Replaces 60 Year Old Building.

June 4th, 2020

This week Albuquerque Fire Rescue (AFR) will move into a new facility to repair and maintain their fleet of over 200 vehicles. In 2018, Mayor Keller, Chief Administrative Officer Nair and Fire Chief Dow prioritized improvements to the fleet maintenance division. Over the last decade, the City of Albuquerque’s Office of Internal Audit completed two reports recommending changes to the AFR fleet maintenance program and the need for a new fleet facility. According to the internal audit reports, the department also needed additional mechanics, and an improved system to track vehicle repairs. The existing AFR Fleet Facility is over 60 years old, and equipped with only two operational lifts was unable to meet the demands of a growing fire department. The 5,000 square feet Fleet Facility also housed the departments Logistics Division, and there was not enough room to efficiently repair apparatus. Due to a lack of workspace, most repairs were completed through outside vendors – at an increased cost to the city. The City and Fire Administration worked together to identify an adequate funding source and develop a plan to address internal audit recommendations and meet the future needs of the department. AFR secured a loan through the New Mexico Finance Authority to finance a new facility that would replace the small and outdated facility at 1801 4th St NW. In 2019, AFR identified an existing property that would meet the current and future needs of the department.

AFR’s new fleet maintenance facility sits on 2.5 acres and has six drive-through maintenance bays that will provide space for up to 12 apparatus at a time. This 15,000 square foot building is a significant improvement over the old fleet facility, which had only two functional bays. This new facility was outfitted with state-of-the-art lifts that can accommodate the wide variety of rescues, fire engines, ladder trucks, and other emergency vehicles AFR has in their fleet. The new facility, located at 7601B Los Volcanes NW, is strategically situated near AFR’s Training Academy and the Fire Administration Headquarters on the west side of Albuquerque. The proximity of the new fleet facility to the Training Academy assists in minimizing the time fire apparatus are out-of-service for scheduled maintenance and repairs. Several times throughout the year, firefighters are required to complete training at the Fire Academy. Now, firefighters will drop off apparatus on the way to the Academy and pick it up at the end of the day. Mechanics complete the routine repairs while the firefighters complete their scheduled training.

AFR’s Fleet Maintenance had three mechanics and one supervisor in 2018. Thoughtful analysis and planning allowed this Fire Administration to expand the staffing to twelve employees. The additional staffing was offset by no longer utilizing outside vendors to repair the apparatus. The cost savings allowed the department to manage and maintain AFR’s essential fleet without dramatically increasing the fleet maintenance budget. With the additional staff and new facility, AFR will improve the safety of their vehicles, enhance the preventive maintenance process, decrease repair costs, all while extending the life of these specialized apparatus. AFR will continue to utilize the old fleet facility by combining both the Department’s Pharmacy and Logistics Divisions into one building. Fire Chief Dow states, “Deputy Chief Adam Eakes and Battalion Chief Nathaniel Meisner were instrumental in the purchase of the new fleet facility and the improvements to the fleet management program. Through their leadership and innovative ideas, we have enhanced our ability to maintain the fire apparatus this community has provided to us.