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BERNCO at a Glance April 2014 Volume 5 • Issue 4

County Commission Schedule

Board of Finance Special Meeting, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, 3 p.m.

Zoning Meeting, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, 4 p.m.

Administrative Meeting, Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 5 p.m.

Administrative Meeting, Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 5 p.m.

Zoning Meeting, Tuesday, April 29, 2014, 4 p.m.

County Planning Commission, First Wednesday of month , April 2, 2014, 9 a.m.

Zoning Administrator Meeting, Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 9 a.m.

All Meetings are held in the Vincent E. Griego Chambers, in the basement of the

City/County Government Bldg., 1 Civic Plaza, 5th and Marquette NW.

April is National County Government Month

National County Government Month, held each April, is an annual celebration of county government. Since 1991, the National Association of Counties has encouraged counties to actively promote the services and programs they offer.

This year’s focus is emergency preparedness, and in this issue of BernCo at a Glance, you will learn about the steps that Bernalillo County has taken and is taking to be ready for any and all emergencies.

I hope that all county residents will take the time to inform themselves about the many ways Bernalillo County is continually preparing for all types of small and large scale emergencies. Whether it is a wildfire, flood, health-related incident, or hazardous materials accident, we want to be ready. You will also find information (page 2) on how to prepare yourselves, family and friends in the case of an emergency situation in your home.

Let’s all work together to prepare, respond and thrive in a ready and resilient Bernalillo County.

Tom Zdunek, Bernalillo County Manager

Need Assistance or Resources? Contact Neighborhood Coordination Specialist Darrell Dady at (505) 468-7364 or at

Bernalillo County – We’re more than you think

Board of Commissioners

Debbie O’Malley, Chair, Dist. 1

Art De La Cruz, Vice Chair, Dist. 2

Maggie Hart Stebbins, Member, Dist. 3

Lonnie C. Talbert, Member, Dist. 4

Wayne A. Johnson, Member, Dist. 5

Tom Zdunek, County Manager

Once Civic Plaza NW, 10th Floor, Albuquerque, NM 87102

(505) 468-7000

Check out the FREE comprehensive calendar and website ABQtodo. To learn more go to

Register your business or nonprofit, or join the artist’s directory by going to

The Bernalillo County 911 Emergency Communications Department Is Ready For Any Size Incident

The department has an emergency notification system, reverse 911, which can be used to send important messages to residents and businesses within the unincorporated areas of the county. The reverse 911 system has the capability of sending thousands of messages in a very short time, based on the geographic location of an incident. Examples of emergency notifications may be:

Evacuation notices due to emergency situations, such as fire, flooding or other environmental hazards.

Notifications of dangerous situations in an area, such as law enforcement investigations or other instances where residents may be instructed to remain in their homes.

Notifications are not automatic, and are sent only at the direction of an incident commander or other managing authority of an emergency situation.

Individuals with a residential or business landline phone already have their phone numbers automatically entered into the system to receive an emergency notification. Residents with a cell or VOIP phone can also register to receive these messages by going to

The Citizen Address Response Enhancement (CARE) system is another way for residents to prepare in advance for emergencies. Providing special instructions to the 911 operator before an emergency occurs can save time and lives, and aid in the response of emergency service personnel. The CenturyLink telephone system allows for residences and businesses to attach detailed information to their CenturyLink telephone numbers so that the 911 operators can quickly see when an emergency call comes in.

Go to to find out more about CARE.

For more information on the Bernalillo County 911 Emergency Communications Department, go to

How Can Residents Prepare for an Emergency?

Bernalillo County does many things to prepare for emergencies, but what can residents do to prepare themselves, their families and friends in the event of a home emergency? An emergency in the home is always a major problem in the eyes of those who live there.

Each household needs to have an emergency evacuation plan in place. Plan and practice fire drills so that everyone is able to safely get out of the house, particularly in homes with children and elderly family members. Know where to meet… a neighbor’s house, or maybe a local park.

What about pets and livestock?

Preparation, planning and practice are essential to surviving an emergency.

In case of an evacuation due to an emergency, put together a disaster supply kit that contains items that might be needed if families will be away from their homes for an undetermined time including important papers, medications, cell phones and chargers, as well as plenty of water and food. This is even more important for those who live in the East Mountains or other remote areas of the county.

To prepare a plan and to build a disaster supply kit go to or

By preparing in advance for unexpected emergencies, all residents can help make Bernalillo County a safer place to live and yet still be ready for anything that might occur.

BCSO and BCFD Ready to Respond to All Emergency Situations

Bernalillo County Sheriff ’s Office – deputies are specifically trained to assist in natural and man-made disasters and have responded to wildfires and flash floods in other communities, as a result of mutual aid agreements, and within the county to conduct citizen evacuations, property protection, and facilitate the response of fire and rescue personnel.

The Sheriff ’s Office works with many non-governmental organizations to assist in establishing and protecting temporary shelters for displaced citizens. Deputies are also trained and equipped to respond to mass casualty events, like bombings or mass shootings, and are developing joint response plans with the Bernalillo County Fire Department to assist with the evacuation of injured residents during these kinds of events.

The BCSO Air Unit has both patrol and transport helicopters that are equipped with dump buckets for fire emergencies which can be used for the transportation of department personnel or equipment to key areas or events during a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or large-scale criminal event.

Bernalillo County Fire Department – responds to many emergency situations, from medical calls to automobile accidents, to structure and wildland fires. The members of BCFD go through continual training to be prepared for these types of incidents, but are also prepared for large-scale wildfire, medical and hazardous materials emergencies.

The 2014 fire season is upon us .. and with continuing drought conditions, rising temperatures and spring winds, wildfires are a major concern, especially in the East Mountains, the Pajarito Mesa and the Bosque.

In the past, BCFD had a certified wildfire team that responded to wildfires in the county and around New Mexico and surrounding states, but within the last couple of years, BCFD leadership decided that all firefighters need to be certified in wildland firefighting, particularly with the fire danger in the East Mountains. This is now an annual certification process and making BCFD better prepared for large-scale wildland firefighting.

In the event of a large-scale fire, BCFD will not be alone. The county has mutual aid agreements with fire agencies from Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Valencia County, Sandoval County, Santa Fe County and Torrance County, as well as many volunteer fire departments from around the area.

The Bernalillo County Fire Department field staff members are all trained emergency medical technicians and/or paramedics and are prepared to help in case of a large-scale medical or hazardous materials emergency.

For more information, go to

In case you hadn’t noticed, THERE IS NO POOP FAIRY!

In Bernalillo County, there could be in excess of 450 tons of dog poop a year in public areas such as sidewalks, parks and roadways. There’s no easy way to pick up all of this nasty poop. Since there really is no Poop Fairy, it’s up to us to do it. GRAB IT, BAG IT, TOSS IT!

Visit for more information.

BERNCO at a Glance, April 2014

NOTICE: To bring you information about Bernalillo County’s public safety departments and initiatives in this month’s newsletter, the BernCo Public Works updates and Planning and Development Services Q & A are not present this month. They will both return in May’s newsletter.

BernCo Public Works Hotline #’s available 24 hours a day 7 days a week Call 848-1503 or 848-1504 or send an e-mail to .

Attention all New Mexico Poets!


Bernalillo County is issuing a Request for Qualification for New Mexico poets to submit samples of their work. Three finalists will be awarded $3,000 to write a poem about fallen officers and collaborate with a calligrapher to produce a framed artwork. Deadline for entries is Friday, April 18 2014, at 5 p.m. MDT.

Visit public-art-program or call (505) 314-0467 for more information.

Animal Care Services Is Ready In The Event Of A Disaster

Bernalillo County Animal Care Services has made significant efforts to prepare the department to assist citizens in the event of a disaster locally, regionally and statewide.

In the past year, Animal Care Services participated, and took a lead role, in two full-scale emergency preparedness exercises, both involving mass-evacuation and the sheltering of animals in a disaster.

Through grant funding obtained through the Bernalillo County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Animal Care Services obtained more than 200 large canine crates for use in an emergency animal shelter, two livestock trailers, improvements to radio systems, small livestock holding facilities, a trailer for transporting a temporary animal shelter, and disaster response equipment.

All department employees have received advanced training in disaster response and are required to complete basic FEMA online courses in emergency management. Many have also attended advanced courses such as the Code 3 Associates Animal Disaster Responder Academy.

Animal Care Services also continues to reach out to other governmental, nonprofit and public partners to develop partnerships that will enhance the county’s ability to assist the citizens of Bernalillo County and New Mexico in the event of a disaster.

For more information go to

Upcoming Community Events

A Day in Paradise

Kick back, relax and enjoy a Day in Paradise, Sunday, April 27 from 1-5 p.m. at Paradise Hills Park, 5901 Paradise Boulevard NW.

Join Bernalillo County District 4 Commissioner Lonnie Talbert and community leaders at this annual family-friendly event. Enjoy great entertainment, food vendors, jumpers and games for the kids. Plus, get your team together for laser tag! For more information, contact Paradise Hills Community Center at (505) 314-0245.

South Valley Pride Day

Join Commissioner Art De La Cruz and community leaders Sunday, May 4 for the annual South Valley Pride Day, held at Westside Community Center, 1250 Isleta Boulevard S.W.

Enjoy great music by local musicians like Miguelito and Severo y Grupo Fuego, a new dance contest, and fantastic gourmet food trucks. Sunday’s festivities begin at 11 a.m., when a parade of local sports teams, community organizations and the 2014 South Valley Pride Day Outstanding Citizens award recipients travel down Isleta Boulevard.

A community clean-up is scheduled for Saturday, May 3. School and community groups have been helping to beautify South Valley neighborhoods since 1995 at this popular event.

Contact Westside Community Center at (505) 314-0176 for more information. Or go on-line to