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How does Albuquerque Fire Rescue stack up against other fire departments around the country?



ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – How does Albuquerque Fire Rescue (AFR) stack up against other fire departments around the country? According to a new national report, it’s one of the busiest. KRQE News 13 spoke with AFR to find out how the city compares.

“It’s the Firehouse National Run Survey. They do it every year, I think there were like 200 departments that participated,” said Lieutenant Jason Fejer, public information officer with AFR. The survey just released its first round of numbers: statistics about the busiest fire departments in the U.S.

“In 2022, AFR came in overall at number 16 in the nation. In 2023, we came in at number 20. So, we’re moving in the right direction overall,” Fejer said. He said the department responded to 97,000 calls for service in 2023—down from 2022 when they responded to over 100,000.

Some areas of town are busier than others: while AFR overall is the 20th busiest department, one of their engines based in the International District is ranked in the top ten. “The guy behind me here is Engine 5 and so this year it came in number seven of participating departments in the nation,” Fejer said.

To take that title, Engine 5 runs 16 to 17 calls every 24 hours, with nearly 6,000 calls for service in 2023. Fejer said when an engine reaches the threshold of more than 3,500 calls per year, they begin looking at how to bring the call volume down. “We still have probably 9, 10 trucks over that threshold so anything we can do we’re looking at,” Fejer said.

He said citywide the majority of their calls are medical: “It’s about 88% EMS versus 12 percent fire.”

“We’re trending down as a whole in the right direction; a lot of that is because Albuquerque Ambulance is taking sick calls and a lot of our unknown medical calls,” Fejer said.

He said the ranking reflects how hardworking AFR is, however: “The flipside of that is it’s hard on crews; it’s a lot of sleepless nights, the things that these guys see frequently is not always easy to deal with.”

AFR is hopeful the addition of a truck dedicated to outside fires this past year will help improve their ranking next year.



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