About Our Team

We are a multi-jurisdictional response organization made up of highly trained, experienced and dedicated personnel from the Corrales, Rio Rancho and Sandoval County Fire Departments. We provide advanced rescue and emergency medical services within the State of New Mexico and the Nation. Due to the composition of our team, we are able to provide a response within two hours of activation, plus travel time, to anywhere in the state.

Cabazon Peak, 2015

Our History

After the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Team, New Mexico Task Force One, was relocated to New Jersey in 2015, a void was created in the rescue capabilities of our region and state. Technical rescue is a set of advanced disciplines which require specialized formal training, refresher training, maintenance training, and specialized equipment. A potential exists for any incident creating a wide variety of hazards to occur, whether it is natural - such as an earthquake or tornado, or human-caused - such as a trench or building collapse. An incident of this magnitude will severely stretch the limits of any response agency in the region.

Our team was officially established in December of 2015. Prior to 2015, each of the departments maintained a separate cache of equipment and maintained its own form of specialty team to respond to technical rescue incidents in the region. Since each team was separate, there was no standardization to the operating guidelines/procedures, equipment, level of training required or general requirements. This mismatch of standards, training and equipment allowed for an ad-hoc response for each incident, which was not conducive to effective operations. Between 2010 and 2015, a trend of increasing incidents requiring advanced technical rescue capabilities was noticed between all three fire departments. After several incidents in 2015, a push was made to create a specialized team which would allow for a more comprehensive equipment cache, consistent operating guidelines/procedures, intra-agency training opportunities, incident response and knowledge expertise. The result was the formation of the Rio Grande Basin Heavy Technical Rescue Team.

Capabilities Plan for 2017

We are working toward becoming a state-recognized typed rescue team within New Mexico. We are diligently working on training members to increase their rescue, hazardous materials, and medical capabilities. Due to the high cost associated with providing rescue services, it will take some time to meet this goal.

In the upcoming budget year we are planning on increasing our capabilities to include:
  • Training additional members in:
    • Confined Space Rescue
    • Swiftwater Rescue
    • Rope Rescue
  • Expanding capabilities to include Cave Rescue
  • Sending several members to the Incident Response to Terrorist Bombings and Prevention and Response to Suicide Bombing Incidents train-the-trainer courses at New Mexico Tech
  • Acquiring additional rescue equipment

Request Activation

Emergency response organizations can request our team to be activated by calling the Sandoval County Regional Dispatch Center. The contact number is 505.898.7585.

Latest News

13 January 2019
13 January 2019
30 October 2018
©2023 Rio Grande Basin Heavy Technical Rescue