Emily Jaramillo, photo courtesy City of Albuquerque

Fire Chief Gene Gallegos is retiring after serving as a fire fighter for Albuquerque Fire Rescue since 2000. Mayor Keller has appointed First Deputy Chief of Emergency Services, Emily Jaramillo, as the next Chief for AFR. Emily Jaramillo will be the first woman to lead the state’s largest Fire Rescue in its 123 year history.

“As First Deputy, Emily Jaramillo is a natural choice–she is a tried and true leader within the department who will continue to guide AFR with her deep knowledge and skill,” said Mayor Tim Keller.

Gallegos served as Chief since 2021, and was previously appointed Fire Marshal in addition to many roles in the department including Training Division Battalion Chief in charge of the Cadet Training Program, Dispatcher, Paramedic, Cadet Instructor, and Professional Development Instructor.

Jaramillo has been with Albuquerque Fire Rescue since 2005 and has worked in a variety of positions as a firefighter and paramedic prior to becoming the Deputy Chief of Emergency Services in 2018. 

“There is no greater honor than to serve next to and with the members of Albuquerque Fire Rescue.  It has been an absolute privilege to have the opportunity to lead   firefighters who never say ‘we can’t,’ never stop working hard, and never quit,” said Fire Chief Gene Gallegos. “These men and women dedicate a third of their lives to protecting the community they love, and regardless of what is asked of them, they do it with pride and respect. I could not be prouder to have the privilege of saying I was a firefighter with Albuquerque Fire Rescue.”

I am humbled by the opportunity to serve as the next Fire Chief at Albuquerque Fire Rescue,” said Deputy Chief Emily Jaramillo. “The women and men in our department provide compassionate, quality fire and EMS services ensuring the health and safety of the people of our city. I am excited to lead our department into the future through innovative practices while not losing sight of the fundamentals of public service.”

Chief Gallegos’ last day will be March 3. Deputy Chief Jaramillo’s appointment will go to City Council for confirmation.

This story is a staff report from The Paper.