Training Rural Departments

By CHRIS SHAYBefore I was hired in Nov-ember 2005 by the San Juan County (NM) Fire Department (SJCFD), I had been a firefighter for the White Sands Test Facility and a fire investigator for Dona Ana County (both in Las Cruces, New Mexico), as well as a volunteer with the small rural Mesilla (NM) Fire Department. We did not make a lot of runs, but we did a lot of training. I arrived at the SJCFD with a mindset on training, but the reality there was totally different. Like any rural fire department in the United States, we do our best to get by training with limited personnel and limited budgets.The SJCFD consists of 14 fire districts that operate out of 23 stations, with a force of 350 vol...

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