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APD and AFD Work Together to Rescue Injured Hiker

Friday’s Heroes: AFD Engine 12, Rescue 8 and APD Open Space Officers

March 7, 2014

Albuquerque- Today Mayor Richard J. Berry honored Albuquerque Fire Department (AFD) Firefighters and Albuquerque Police Department (APD) Open Space Officers who worked together to rescue an injured man in Albuquerque’s foothills. Through AFD and APD’s joint effort, the hiker was able to seek medical attention and make it off of the mountain shortly after experiencing the debilitating injury.

The man lived nearby and was a regular in the Open Space area, hiking nearly every day.  Last October, he was hiking his usual route when he heard something pop in his leg and was unable to move.  He called 911 and did his best to provide the dispatcher accurate directions to his location. Open Space Officers were the first to make contact with the man on a steep rocky hill. It was getting colder so they provided the injured man with blankets so he would stay warm while they waited for emergency responders.  Once AFD arrived, both the firefighters and Open Space officers were able to safely get the man off the mountain and transport him to the hospital.

The officers and firefighters responsible for the rescue include:

  • APD: Officer Anthony Martinez, Officer Andres Montoya, Officer Gary Okino.
  • AFD: Lt. Kristopher Romero, Driver Colby Buffington, FF Brian Padilla, FF John Vigil, Para Driver Gregory Ochoa, Para Driver Mark Jaquez.

This is a great example of how our critical public safety departments and their personnel work together to better serve the community and keep people safe.  Their team work paid off for the injured man who could have been stranded overnight had it not been for their competent and professional response.