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Highland Meadows Volunteer Fire Department

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2005 - News 13 Reports on HMVFD
 
On Wednesday, April 13, 2005 Larry Barker with the Channel 13 news team came to interview Chief Randall about why Highland Meadows Volunteer Fire Department was still listed as a grade 10 by ISO.  Fire Marshall John Cherry was on hand to lend his support.  John Cherry shared with Mr Barker that any new fire station must operate for one year without government funding of any kind.  He also went on to explain that HMVFD have a total of  two years to qualify to be up graded to a 9 or higher.  HMVFD has only since Chief Randall took over, even made any strides, in becoming a functional fire department.  After taking a tour of the station John Cherry shared his feeling about Chief Randall and Assistant Chief Romaro’s handling of the community and the station.  Cherry said without the support of this community and without the fire department's involvement with the community, they would not be where they are today.  Highland Meadows has a fire station and volunteers they can be proud of.  After the interviews Mr Barker said after seeing other grade 10 fire stations, he felt Highland Meadows looked better than a grade 9.  By the end of 2005 Highland Meadows Fire Department will make a grade 9 or grade 8 said John Cherry,  which opens the door for more funding and a bigger operating budget. 

CPR Classes Held at MLVFD
 
On Saturday, April 16, 2005 there was a opportunity for anyone to attend CPR training and receive their BLS CPR Card. Two Residents of Highland Meadows attended, Jamie Nugent and Kim Roberds.  The Class was very informative
and a well spent day in training.  Chief Jim Patraw taught the class, he is the fire chief of the Meadow Lake Volunteer Fire Department. About 10 people in all took the class this time around.  Patraw is an excellent instructor and took the time to make sure everyone was understanding everything throughout the class.  Nugent and Roberds both passed the test and are now proud holders of a BLS CPR card.  The next CPR class will be held in August of 2005 if you are interested in attending please call MLVFD for more information.  Remember the class you take may save a life.

Channel 13 on May 9 & May 18, 2005
 
Andy Warhol said that everyone would be world famous for fifteen minutes.  Last month when Channel 13's Larry Barker came to HMVFD to interview Chief Randall, Highland Meadows was one fire station featured in this report.  On Monday May 9 and Wednesday May 18 a two part series of Larry’s investigative report aired of all grade 10 fire departments across New Mexico and Highland Meadows was shown in part two of this story. In part one, He chose to focus on four other stations, I had felt that this first part of the report was not to help these communities rather instead it was to break down what they are trying to build . It was not until part two aired a week later it made more sense to me where the investigation was going.  Larry  reported that every year the state of New Mexico takes money from a special fund that is supposed to be used for fire departments and puts these funds in the general budget of the state for other things.  It was reported how if this money was not taken every year there would be no need for all these rural fire stations to have such out dated equipment.  Being a volunteer for any organization takes dedication and love for what you are trying to accomplish.  These men and women should be praised for their gallant efforts in keeping these stations alive, fire protection is important and whether a grade 10 or a grade 8 I am grateful for what we have built here in Highland Meadows and The state of New Mexico should stand behind these small rural stations and help them. 
Chief Randall gave HMVFD its fifteen minutes of fame we truly shined bright.

New Tanker and Hoses
 
HMVFD has gotten a new tanker truck, it was a army tanker for WWII and it holds 5000 gallons of water.  This big boy is a 6 wheel drive and may not move real fast but when it arrives on scene you know it will do the job.  5000 gallons of water weighs roughly 40,000 lbs.  With the addition of this truck it will open the doors for Highland Meadows to be called out on wild land fires. The more HMVFD is called out on fires the better our chances in getting more funding and newer equipment.  In addition, we also received about 1500 feet of one and half inch hose and 500 feet of two inch hose.  With the help of our volunteers all the trucks now have new hoses on them and enough so when ISO comes to grade us we are sure we will be graded a 9 or higher

2005 Fireman I Training at Highland Meadows Fire Station
 
In 2005, all of our volunteers at HMVFD were being intensely trained by Meadow Lake's Fire Chief Jim Patraw.  The classes were hard and Patraw was a firm instructor, he was tough for their own good.  Patraw taught  and trained them from his heart and soul with all he had learned and experienced from his many years as a firefighter.  He wanted to share all his knowledge so that if any of them ever ran into a situation, they could be better prepared to handle it. Our volunteers could count themselves among the few who were fortunate enough to have Patraw as their Mentor.  Jim stressed that a fire department and its volunteers must be like a family.  He felt that all of them needed to be dedicated, loyal and always safe.  Jim Patraw was the Fire Chief at Meadow Lake from 1993 until January 2006. 

Ride along on Call
 
It was the early morning of April 27 when the tone was sounded for district 12, Highland Meadows to respond to a fire on the south side of SR 6.  Fire Chief Randall and several volunteers arrived on scene with in 8 mins of the call.  There was a canopy shell engulfed in flames.  It was a matter of minutes and it was over, this fire was a small one and the weather was in their favor there was no wind to kick up the flames.  We as non firefighters responding to the call noticed many disadvantages our volunteers endure.  Since this happened in the early morning hours it was still dark out and it was very hard to find the roads.  If we had reflective street signs with the main streets having street lights getting on scene would be quicker and easier.  Have your homes clearly marked with your house numbers, this would assist in finding and getting help to you quicker.   The biggest problem we noticed was the debris in the yard that made it hard for Chief Randall to drive the fire truck close enough and it was doubly difficult for the volunteers to get to the fire.  The debris in this yard was all over and while the firefighters were out there protecting us one of our own volunteers broke his leg on scene.  This was an occurrence that could of been avoid had this homes yard been cleaned.  We need to mention this was not the property the fire was on, it was next door and the house was abandoned. 
We hope that this shows everyone the importance of events like the Great American Clean-up and how if we can get the big dumpster placed at the firestation to use every month for a small fee this will be better for all of us.  We as a community can never be to clean or safe. Thank you HMVFD for letting us ride along and giving us a chance to see you in action. 

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Highland Meadows V.F.D District 12