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County FD continues expansion, improvements


The Doña Ana County Fire Department (DACFD) is on pace to respond to about 11,000 calls countywide in 2023, County Fire Chief Shannon Cherry told the Doña Ana County Commission at its Sept. 12 regular meeting.

Cherry said the department has 19 fire stations and will have 40 paid firefighters by next April. Including the DACFD chief, deputy chiefs, battalion chiefs, captains, lieutenants and other officers, the department will have 60 career firefighters, Cherry said, compared to 16 in 2019.  The department also has three 215 total volunteers, including officers, firefighters, EMTs and support staff.

In 2021, the department received 9,178 calls for service in 2021 and 10,802 in 2022, Cherry said. It expects to receive 10,950 calls in 2023, the chief said, about 90 percent of which will be medical in nature.

So far in 2023, DACFD has responded to 98 structure fires, averaging more than eight firefighters at each fire, along with 42 vehicle fires, 126 wildland/brush or field fires, 44 rubbish/trash fires and seven other outdoor fires.

Cherry said there are 73 new fire hydrant systems at commercial properties in the county since 2019. The county has 18 fire water tender vehicles that can carry 38,000 gallons water and 37 fire engines that can carry 37,000 gallons.

“We have lots of water on wheels” to address fires in areas of the county where fire hydrants are not available, he said.