Executive Staff

Executive Staff of Albuquerque Fire Rescue.

caption: Fire Chief  Gene Gallegos

Fire Chief Gene Gallegos

Gene Gallegos has been a member of Albuquerque Fire Rescue since 2000. He has served in many roles throughout his time with the department including Training Division Battalion Chief in charge of the Cadet Training Program, Dispatcher, Paramedic, Cadet Instructor, Professional Development Instructor, and Fire Marshal Inspector. Before becoming Interim Chief, Gallegos served as the Fire Marshal for three years.

Mayor Tim Keller named Gene Gallegos Fire Chief of Albuquerque Fire Rescue in November of 2021 after having served as Interim Chief for 6 months.

Gene Gallegos is a lifelong ABQ resident and has known that he would be serving his community or country since middle school. “I know that having the opportunity to help someone in need was my path and becoming a firefighter was the best way to accomplish that goal. My loving and supportive late wife, son, and family always encouraged me to follow my dreams. Without them, I would not be where I am today”.

Contact Chief Gallegos at [email protected].

caption: Deputy Chief of Training and Communication Kevin Ferando

Deputy Chief Kevin Ferando


Deputy Chief Kevin Ferando was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. After graduating from Eldorado High School, he went to college in Colorado and graduated from Western Colorado University with a degree in business and accounting. Kevin moved back to Albuquerque after college and worked as a financial adviser for several years before entering the fire service. Kevin has served in both suppression and EMS divisions during his time with Albuquerque Fire Rescue. He obtained his paramedic license in 2007 and has promoted through the EMS ranks. Kevin is also a Heavy Rescue Technician and worked at fire station 3 for six years as a Rescue Driver and  Rescue Lieutenant. He was promoted to the EMS Quality Assurance Captain in 2018 where he was able to be an active member in the department's EMS guideline review, education, and paramedic credentialing process. DC Fernado has helped with AFR's professional development program by teaching fire instructor and fire officer classes and being an instructor for the department's officer's certification classes. Prior to promoting to the deputy chief rank, DC Ferando oversaw AFR’s Fleet and Capital Improvement Division. DC Ferando currently oversees AFR’s Communications, Technical Services, Fire/Medical Dispatch, and the CPSE accreditation process.

Contact Deputy Chief Ferando at [email protected]

caption: Deputy Chief of Field Operations Jimmy Melek

Deputy Chief Jimmy Melek


Deputy Chief Jimmy Melek has been a member Albuquerque Fire Rescue since 2004. He was born and raised in New Mexico and graduated from West Mesa High School. After high school, he attended Adams State College in Colorado where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. After earning his degree, he decided he wanted to return home and serve his community by pursuing a career as a firefighter. While applying, testing, and waiting to be selected, he was a teacher and wrestling coach at Cibola High School. During his time with AFR, he has served in various roles in efforts to contribute to the department. He promoted to Lieutenant through the Suppression side of the department and  then went to paramedic school as an officer. This career path gives him a diverse perspective of emergency response and also provides the experience in almost every role on every apparatus. Certified as an HTR Technician, he was assigned to Station 3 as Captain of the Heavy Technical Rescue Task Force. In addition to field response, he also participated in numerous activities to help progress the department. He was the lead of the HEART (Home Engagement and Alternative Response Team) program that focuses on high utilizers of the EMS system, fall prevention, and harm reduction aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with drug use. He also participated in the EMS Quality Assurance & Improvement Program, Firefighter Mental Health and Well Being Committee, CPSE Committee, Report Compliance Committee, Blue Card Committee, and Professional Development. DC Melek is a passionate father, a loving son, and a loyal friend. He likes to spend his free time watching his daughter play volleyball, play pool with his dad, and golf with friends. Deputy Chief Melek oversees all field operations on each of the departments’ three shifts. He is responsible for all special event coordination and associated AFR activities. He manages the three AFR special operations divisions that include Wildland, Hazardous Materials, and Heavy Technical Rescue.

Contact Deputy Chief Melek at [email protected]

Deputy Chief HR Santos Garcia

Deputy Chief Santos Garcia


Deputy Chief Santos Garcia is originally from Riverside, California, moving to the Land of Enchantment in 1993. DC Garcia is a 20-year veteran with Albuquerque Fire Rescue since 2002, graduating from the department's 65th Cadet Class and achieving his paramedic license in 2006. Prior to promoting, DC Garcia served his entire career on front-line operations in both Fire Suppression and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Divisions. For almost 6 years, he served as an EMS Quality Improvement Officer; focusing on training, equipment, and industry best practices. Santos was the recipient of the department's Outstanding Leadership Award in 2017. Deputy Chief Garcia oversees the department’s Human Resources, Training Division, Recruitment, Public Affairs Office, Public Information Officer, and Community Risk Reduction. With an Associate’s Degree in Emergency Medical Services and a Bachelor’s Degree in Emergency Management, DC Garcia demonstrates a foundation to ensure and improve AFR’s training and hopes to bring a level of compassionate accountability and diversity to the department. Santos enjoys spending family time with his wife and three children.

Contact Deputy Chief Garcia at [email protected].

Deputy Chief of Emergency Services Emily Jaramillo

Deputy Chief Emily Jaramillo


Deputy Chief Emily Jaramillo grew up in rural New Mexico. She achieved a BA in English and Secondary Education at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa in 1999. After returning home to New Mexico, Emily taught and coached for four years at Albuquerque Public Schools before joining Albuquerque Fire Rescue in 2005. During her time at AFR, Emily has served as an officer in both the Paramedic and Fire Suppression Divisions, served on the AFD Safety Committee, taught in the EMS Training Division, and coordinated both the Professional Development and Firefighter Health and Wellness programs, served at the chair of the Operations Planning Committee for ACS, and serves on the board for the Mental Health Response Advisory Committee. In 2015, she was the recipient of the IAFF 244 Outstanding Leadership Award and was nominated as an Albuquerque Business First Woman of Excellence in 2022. Deputy Chief Jaramillo oversees all of the Emergency Medical Services for Albuquerque Fire Rescue, the Health & Safety Division, Chaplaincy Program, Peer Support Network, the community paramedic Home Engagement and Alternative Response Team (HEART), Records Management, the Albuquerque Fire Rescue Pharmacy, and the field EMS Quality Assurance Officers. The AFR Medical Director, Doctor Kimberly Pruett, and Behavioral Health Director, Maia Theodore-Dalton also fall under this Division. The Emergency Services Division is committed to providing exemplary pre-hospital care and community paramedicine to the citizens of Albuquerque with a strong focus on patient care and quality assurance. Deputy Chief Jaramillo is also a mother to two young children and is currently a graduate student for a Masters Degree in Public Health at New Mexico State University.

Contact Deputy Chief Jaramillo at [email protected].

Deputy Chief Nathaniel Meisner- Planning & Logistics

Deputy Chief Nathaniel Meisner


Deputy Chief Nathaniel Meisner oversees AFR Logistics, Fiscal Division, Fleet Division, and Capital Improvements. Under his oversight AFR Logistics supports all of the operational and supply needs for over 30 facilities and over 200 vehicles and apparatus. Fleet Maintenance maintains and repairs All emergency apparatus for AFR. The Fiscal Division manages payroll, grants, procurement, contracts, budget, and many other finance related activities. The Capital Improvements Division maintains all of AFR’s facilities and construction projects. A New Mexico native raised in the Albuquerque Area, Nathaniel Meisner has been in the fire service for over 17 years.  He graduated Summa Cum Laude with his Bachelor’s Degree in Emergency Management from Eastern New Mexico University.  He holds his Associate’s Degree in Fire Science from Central New Mexico College and an Associate’s Degree in Emergency Medical Services from Eastern New Mexico University in Roswell.  Nathaniel won the 2014 Motorola Solutions Future Leaders Award from the International Association of Fire Chiefs Foundation.  He twice received the Albuquerque Mayor’s Hero of the Week Award and was the Captain of the HEART program when it won the Albuquerque Fire Rescue Division of the Year in 2018. Nathaniel has most recently worked as the Battalion Chief of Fleet Operations for Albuquerque Fire Rescue.  He manages the accreditation process, which analyzes all fire department programs and services and developed 5-year strategic plans for AFR.  Prior to that, Nathaniel worked as the Community EMS Captain for the Albuquerque Fire Rescue HEART program, where he developed and helped implement programs to assist the most vulnerable populations in the city. Nathaniel also served as Albuquerque Fire Rescue Records Division Captain where he managed the report-writing system for the intake of 250,000 fire and emergency medical incident reports annually.  He administered documentation, quality assurance, and compliance programs for the department.  He also provided extensive data analysis and reporting for effective operational and planning decisions. 

Nathaniel is married with three children. Together they enjoy the outdoors, fishing, and camping.

Contact Deputy Chief Meisner at [email protected].

Deputy Chief of The Fire Marshal’s Office Kris Romero

Deputy Chief and Fire Marshal

Kris Romero


Deputy Chief Kris Romero oversees the Fire Marshal’s Office, which includes the Inspections Division, Plans Checking Division, Fire Investigation Division, and ADAPT. All divisions of the Fire Marshal’s Office follow the adopted City of ABQ Fire Ordinance, 2015 International Fire Code, and NFPA 101 Life Safety Code. The Inspections Division encompasses the inspections of all existing commercial structures within the city of ABQ and public education programs to include Fire Safety Training for kids and adults, Fire Evacuation Training, and Fire Extinguisher training. Plans Checking Division works with the Planning Department to assist the citizens of ABQ in developing and finalizing all proposals for new construction, as well as performing the final inspection of the completed construction. Plans Checking also works with the Cultural Services Department in helping to plan special events held in the city of ABQ, to ensure all safety parameters are in place, to include tent safety parameters and occupancy load of any required fenced area. Fire Investigation Division is made up of firefighters trained and certified in both arson investigations and law enforcement disciplines. The Division also has an accelerant K9 team to assist with any investigations. We also have a program in place to assist in the rehabilitation of a minor (Youth Fire Awareness Program) if determined the youth was involved in a fire incident. The ADAPT program works with owners of properties identified as a public safety nuisance to the community. ADAPT directs them to bring the property back into compliance with city ordinances to decrease crime as well as increase the safety of all residents living around them.

Contact Deputy Chief Romero at [email protected].