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Sunland Park Fire Department anticipating a busy rescue season involving migrants

SUNLAND PARK, New Mexico (KVIA) -- Sunland Park Fire Department officials tell ABC-7, they are preparing for a busy summer filled with rescues and recoveries.

In just a week, the department was called out to 4 body recoveries.

Chief Daniel Medrano said it's unusual to receive these many calls in the span of a week, but he anticipates the number to increase over the summer.

"We anticipate we are going to see a higher number than what we have seen in the past," he said.

Chief Medrano said the department was called out to body recoveries 15 times last year.

He said many times other agencies, including Border Patrol, will ask the fire department to assist with rescues and body recoveries because of their preparedness.

The chief said they have a few all-terrain vehicles that help them navigate through the desert, sandy terrain.

Additionally, his off-roading vehicles are equipped with a patient skid to carry injured parties or bodies.

Despite their readiness, Chief Medrano admits the department faces several challenges.

"Manpower is an issue, so it is time-consuming. Not only is it tying up one of my resources, it is tying up one of my companies, so going out to retrieve a body can take 2 to 3 hours. It's labor intensive and it does tie up resources."

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Rosemary Montañez

ABC-7 reporter and weekend anchor


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