ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — After a suspected drunken driver smashed into a house near Edith Boulevard and Osuna Road in northeast Albuquerque Sunday, the house caught fire.
Now Chris Gallegos' home is in shambles.
A neighbor's video shows the Albuquerque Fire Department putting out the flames.
AFD had to travel about 3.5 miles across the interstate arriving at the fire in six minutes and 13 seconds.
But although the Bernalillo County Fire Department has a station a mile away, its crews were not dispatched.
BCFD wasn't called because the house is in AFD's jurisdiction.
Both departments say this happens every day, and it's been happening for years.
"That's throughout the county," BCFD Chief John Garcia told KRQE News 13. "You can go to the South Valley, the North Valley and even the east side of town where there's jurisdictional lines above a fire station
"When an emergency response unit gets a dispatch from the 911 center, they go to the call and provide the service. That's what they're trained to do," said AFD Chief Jim Breen.
Both fire chiefs say they've been working for five months on a new coordinated-response system because this problem isn't as simple as it sounds.
County Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins says that new system needs to be in place now.
"One of these days, if we don't get this into place, we're going to have a death that could have been prevented by sending the closest fire truck," said Stebbins. She adds that there has been several incidents this year where a station farther away responded.
Those incidents include a man who collapsed and stopped breathing at Sandia Prep School. People at the school had to use a defibrillator to keep him alive.
AFD, stationed miles away, responded. Again, BCFD was just down the street.
That man survived.
Both fire department chiefs say they will begin testing the new system after the Fourth of July.
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New Mexico is located in the southwestern region of the U.S. Inhabited by Native American populations for many centuries, New Mexico has also been part of Imperial Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory.