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18 New AFR Paramedics Graduate

Paramedics receive the highest level of training in pre-hospital medical care.
June 05, 2024

On May 10th, 2024, 18 members of the Albuquerque Fire Rescue (AFR) graduated the University of New Mexico School of Medicine’s, Emergency Medical Services Academy (EMSA), paramedic program. Fire departments as well as public and private ambulance services sponsor their members as EMSA students. The cohort has undergone a 10-month journey to attain the highest level of training in pre-hospital medical care. The accelerated program covers over 1,000 hours of didactic and lab instruction. Students complete clinical rotations in local hospitals and field internships to learn to apply their skills in stressful and dynamic situations.

Graduation from the program is a significant milestone, both personally and professionally.

“These responders have gone through countless hours of studying, training, and clinical experience, so that they can deliver the highest level of care to Albuquerque’s families,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “This achievement is a testament to their hard work and commitment to serving our community.”
Quality care, excellent customer service and short response times, create the foundation for success in AFRs EMS delivery.

“Our goal is to make the patients experience a positive one. Most people have very few interactions with EMS services. However, if they do, they will never forget it. They remember not only how they were treated clinically, but also how they were treated personally. EMS may serve as their only access to care and we must take the responsibility seriously,” said EMS Division Chief Chris Ortiz. “We have a duty to be well trained, well-educated and most importantly, be kind and compassionate in our service delivery. This new group of paramedics have shown that they possess the knowledge, skills and abilities to reflect these core values of our department.”

All AFR firefighters are trained to the Basic Emergency Medical Technician (EMT-B) level. This means they are qualified as health care professionals who can provide lifesaving measures such as Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), basic airway management and bleeding control. Paramedics are an advanced level of provider who can identify, interpret and treat potentially lethal cardiac rhythms, perform advanced airway techniques such as endotracheal intubation and also administer life-saving medications to people who need immediate help. AFR firefighters provide cutting edge clinical care and have established themselves as one of the premier EMS services in the nation.
Congratulations to the following graduates for their invaluable service to Albuquerque Fire Rescue and the residents of our great city:

  • Lieutenant Joseph Kandel
  • Lieutenant Alexander Kimball
  • Lieutenant John Hagan
  • Lieutenant Eric De La Torre
  • Lieutenant Adam Watts
  • Lieutenant Joseph Garcia
  • Driver Bastian Campbell
  • Driver Brennen Chambers
  • Driver Holly Huffines
  • Driver Derek Cravens
  • Firefighter Joseph Aragon
  • Firefighter Ernesto Gamboa
  • Firefighter Dylan Archibeque
  • Firefighter Brandon Lykins
  • Firefighter Taylor O’Connell
  • Firefighter Isaiah Selgado
  • Firefighter Jacob Autry
  • Firefighter Nicholas Trujillo