Fire Department
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Hacienda Heights, CA

#1 Oct 24, 2012
Can anyone tell me how many Fire Stations are there for the City of Raton NM Fire Department? Is the Raton Fire Department in the city good? any comments would be great Thanks

“Liberal Patriot”

Since: Sep 08

Rio Linda, CA

#2 Oct 25, 2012
Two stations, the main one downtown and one on the south side by the hospital. The departmend had a new chief. I am led to believe he is an excellent replacement for an excellent chief who retired.

As a person with some knowledge of fire departments and a home owner in raton I would say an A+ department.

Van Nuys, CA

#3 Oct 25, 2012
Anyone know what the range of firefighters make in the city of Raton?
lil tiger

Albuquerque, NM

#4 Oct 25, 2012
Heard new chief is a man qhore
Amy G

Colorado Springs, CO

#5 Oct 25, 2012
Big deal everyone else is worst

Van Nuys, CA

#6 Oct 27, 2012
Anyone know if they are ALS or BLS department
just fyi

Albuquerque, NM

#7 Oct 28, 2012
RatonCity wrote:
Anyone know if they are ALS or BLS department
They have both

Hacienda Heights, CA

#8 Oct 29, 2012
Anyone know if there hiring & if they are how much is there salary to start off?
Prior Raton Employee

United States

#9 Oct 29, 2012
As per. the Raton Professional Firefighters IAFF Local 2378 Union Contract here is your wages:

Firefighter / EMT -$7.60 (OR LESS) to start, through academy and probation
Step one Firefighter (Probationary & non-probationary)-$8.48 an hour

Firefighter / Paramedic Step one -$9.10 an hour (approximately)

Captains, Lieutenants and Engineers do not make very much more. Even if you are a HAZMAT Technician, EMT-Intermediate or EMT-Paramedic (all extra incentive pay) you will not make much more above that $8.48 to start. The union "step" paygrades go up to step five, if I recall correctly.

Your PERA (Public Employee Retirement Assn) in other words, your state-ran Firefighter retirement is a MANDATORY 17% of your pay, pre-taxes. Meaning say, for example, you make $8.48 and hour your paycheck will ALWAYS be minus 17%(plus state and federal taxes, SSI / SSDI).

So take $8.48 and subtract about 20-22% and multiply that by 106 hours of "regular" pay and 6 hours of "overtime" pay (time and a half) and that is your average pay period for a firemen in Raton. It is very, very humble wages.

On the bright side? The guys at the department are AMAZING Firefighters, EMTs and Paramedics. One EMT-Intermediate has 20+ years experience alone. There are Captains with 10+ years on the job and several line Firefighters with excellent experience. The Chief who Retired, Dave Pasquale was a hard man to work for (also decidedly anti-union / anti-pay increase) BUT an excellent Fireman with 30++ years on the job.

New Chief, Orlando is an EXCELLENT man & a well-respected fire chief in New Mexico. Very easy going, very no-nonsense, pro-training and pro-Firefighter. He has countless years experience & a resume to support a well-rounded career. He will be very good for the City, the citizens of Raton and the Department I am certain.

Raton Fire Department provides HAZMAT, Fire, EMS and basically ANY service the public could hope for. It has a very impressive repertoire of equipment, apparatus and cool gadgets. 8 of 10 cool devices or vehicles the department has were paid for with GRANTS not the city budget. The former Chief (Pasquale) was a skilled politician and grant - writer in his own rights. He helped bring the department well beyond the 21st century.

Anyhow, if you saw the Raton FD job postings listing "$41,000 to $62,000" those ARE actual pay amounts for employees: a Batallion Chief and THE CHIEF... Not the most honest recruitment tactic, which is an era of the by-gone Chief Pasquale's ways.

I assure you this - the pay is not good, but the department IS very good. The guys, the abundance of equipment and the EXPERIENCE is priceless. You will stay VERY busy, as it is a VERY busy department!!

Regards, Former Raton Fireman

Van Nuys, CA

#10 Oct 29, 2012
Hey Prior Raton Employee,
Do you have an email address got some other questiond. Thanks for the reply helped out a lot.
Prior Raton Employee

United States

#11 Oct 29, 2012
If you have further questions, I would highly advise that you do first-hand research. Nothing personal, just more beneficial if you establish & formulate your own opinions. Perhaps you could call city hall (anonymously OR under an assumed name like "Mike Smith" or something) to validate your questions?

If they are still there, the HR type ladies at City hall are really helpful. They are very honest and sincere ladies, good people for sure.

Regarding the department - like I stated earlier, it is definitely a top-notch agency. If you compare it to a "big" department like Albuquerque, Denver, etc. sure it is different. Raton is a small town, but has a fire department that regularly manages BIG incidents. That fire department works really, really hard and it speaks to the dedication & willingness to serve of the guys who are there!!

So I guess the last comment I would offer is this: if you expect to have a "big city" type department job, this isn't the place. BUT if you want to get your hands dirty, get good experience + training you WILL get it there.

Personally, I would give the guys and the department an A+ and I would give the pay a D- maybe even an F !! Yet in the end, it isn't about the uniform or the paycheck - it's what you do when you wear the uniform that counts. I can tell you that the Raton Firefighters earn (and deserve) a great deal of respect for what they do. Those guys work hard & earn every bit of what they get.

I would say just apply & go have the time of your life; because you WILL have it there. The guys at that agency are good men and they handle business. They make miracles happen and don't ever brag or sit around waiting for awards and recognition.

All I can tell you. To hell with the money, you won't get rich there but you can pay the bills.

Schedule? One on, one off for three shifts then four days off (modified kelly schedule).
Staffing? Usually 4-5 guys on duty, three shifts (A / B / C)
Transporting EMS agency for the City & surrounding areas.
HAZMAT Team for North East New Mexico.
Some mutual aide calls, both EMS & Fire
Freeway (I - 25) can experience some serious vehicle wrecks
Pretty busy wildfire seasons, lots of lightning strike fires
Routinely get structure fire calls
Dumpster fires in the winter, due to hot ashes in trash
Crazy winter blizzards cause plenty of business
The department hosts a fireworks show every year

Good times for sure.

PS - If any Raton residents are reading this, be thankful for the emergency services Raton has. For miles and miles around Raton the ONLY emergency services available are volunteers. Raton has paid, professional, well-trained people available 24/7 - 365... at a BARGAIN cost to the taxpayer. And FYI the Raton Fire Department ambulances contribute a substantial amount of money to the city. It is a win / win - excellent services for bargain prices!!

Hacienda Heights, CA

#12 Nov 4, 2012
Thanks Prior Raton Employee for all the information. How many stations are there in Raton FD. I know someone said there is 2, When i search it only comes up with 1 station. Any feedback?

Albuquerque, NM

#13 Nov 5, 2012
There is only one. They have one or two other substations but they are not manned and used only when needed by the same department.
Prior Employee

United States

#14 Nov 8, 2012
There are apparatus (Fire engines, trucks, ambulances & HAZMAT units) strategically stored in a few locations:

"Armex" building - city owned warehouse

Station 2 - behind the dollar store, off South 2nd (aka Main Street)

Station 3 - Near the hospital, Miner's Colfax Medical Center

Station 4 - The training facility / training tower, which serves as a regional training center for firefighters, police, national guard throughout the region. It is worth noting, that it actually IS a very well built, high quality training facility. This too was also built at little to no expense from taxpayers. The prior Chief Pasquale constructed the center mainly via. grants, donations and freebies.

These substations are not manned / staffed 24-7. In event of emergencies, the fire department calls / pages out the firemen who then go staff the vehicles (Engines, trucks, ambulances). The main station (station 1 - on Clark Ave) is staffed 24/7 - 365 without fail by firefighter EMTs / Paramedics.

Again, cannot begin to express how lucky Raton is to have a small town Fire Department that delivers "big city" services whenever & however the residents of the city & county need them.

The department is equally capable of delivering Emergency Medical, Fire, HAZMAT & rescue services as ANY big department in the state. In fact, I would argue that there are many things Raton Fire Department can do on the drop of a hat, while ABQ or other big cities would have to scramble to respond.(Hazmat for example, primarily).

The residents, taxpayers and visitors to Raton are lucky to have "all risk" protection 24/7-365 by paid professional Firefighters. And FYI if a tax ballot ever comes up to get them a raise? PLEASE vote "yes" and support your firemen - the majority of whom are literally risking their LIVES to protect a huge area for $7-8.00 an hour!!
No way

Glendale, AZ

#16 Nov 9, 2012
Looks like our "big city fire services" can't put out the fire at the El Portal going on now.

Pueblo, CO

#17 Nov 10, 2012
I heard they called in the volunteer fire department from the projects. As they stumbled on the situation up each with a 12 pack of beer in hand and some marshmallows. The marshmallows were used as muchies and peace offerings to the natives and on lookers. Raton's mighty arm chair warriors looking as each had just been released from county jail stepped forward and spoke in slurred speech saying, " "watcha, shay, for reals, sedio? Once everyone agreed the third floor was haunted the volunteer chug a lugs all began to whiz simultaneously on the fire, as the crack heads from the Summersets sang out loud, "We are the world." Raton joined together and everyone celebrated at the white house saloon. No one got stabbed and a few got stuck, but for the most part a true demonstration of love. The next building to fall...... City Hall..let us have a round of applause everyone.....

Yea RFD and RPD the more you prove us right that your not capable of protecting us the stronger we become as a community relying on our brothers and neighbors during times of real urgency. Im Chuck Henry and I approve this message. Que VIVA RATON !!!!
Prior Raton Employee

United States

#18 Nov 10, 2012
Outstanding show of ignorance & hyped-up conspiracy theories being offered. No, I am a former employee of the city & fire department. My name is Gary Cruz & I am not ashamed to offer fact-based, non-biased information about a place I was proud to have served.

I appreciate the allegations of the city 'hiring professional bloggers'. Not much of a professional, more of a working-class / blue collar type who managed to get a few semesters of college in. Nothing big.

Needless to say, if you would like to learn about firefighting doctrine & how / why your local fire departments do things? Visit a website like fire engineering dot-com. Perhaps simply visit your local fire station at 227 Clark Avenue, during normal business hours Monday - Friday? I am certain they can explain how / why things are done. Perhaps you could offer them some pointers in fire suppression doctrine?

At any rate, all I am doing is offering my perspectives & experiences of a previous employer. My statements do not represent the City or any entity in any official capacity. As current residents of Raton, if your feelings are that strong, as just another taxpayer, I'd suggest some action items like:

Visit your fire department, learn about the services
Go to City Hall meetings
Volunteer in the community

Otherwise, anonymous accusations & paranoias on the internet are simply just that.
Chuck Henrys MOM

Santa Fe, NM

#19 Nov 11, 2012
Chuck Henry dont be jealous because the firefighters and police have bigger balls than you! If you had to fight that fire you would shit your self!
Have a good day!
Raton Police

Pueblo, CO

#20 Nov 12, 2012
they all have manginas, get it right big deal a fire fighter in Raton has courage? What about the coal miner, or the correctional officer. There is more risk in those jobs then you glory seekers.

Tuscumbia, AL

#21 Nov 25, 2012
RFD, Never a foundation lost on their watch!

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