The Albuquerque Fire Rescue Department has launched an aggressive lateral hiring campaign in an effort to improve response times.
According to AFR officials, they are short more than 30 firefighters. This number may increase in the near future as more firefighters become eligible for retirement.
"We have approximately 85, I believe, people that are in Albuquerque Fire that are eligible for retirement,” said Lt. Ruiz with AFR. The new incentive package for lateral hires is aimed at making the department more equipped for the job.
The current shortage of firefighters is affecting response times. Ruiz told KOB that increased calls have added 10 to 15 seconds to response times each year.
"The call volume continues to go up, and our call time response has gone up as a result of that,” said Ruiz.