Lea County, New Mexico, has three Volunteer Fire Departments located in Knowles, Maljamar, and Monument. There are a total of 9 Fire Departments in Lea County with 5 being Municipal Fire Departments.
Volunteer Fire Departments most often cover a large amount of land. The Knowles Volunteer Fire Department covers an area of Approximately 194 square miles, Maljamar Volunteer Fire Department covers 546 sq miles and the Monument Volunteer Fire Department covers 364 sq miles.
A Volunteer Fire Department is a fire department composed of volunteers who perform fire suppression and other related emergency services for local jurisdictions. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 65% of firefighters in the United States are members of Volunteer Fire Departments in 2020. Volunteer firefighters contrast with career firefighters who are full-time firefighters, working organized shifts, usually based in a centrally located firehouse.
Depending upon the location and availability of services, a Volunteer Fire Department may be responsible for controlling structure fires as well as grass fires. Because it may be the only emergency services department for some distance, a rural Volunteer Fire Department may also be fortunate to include first responders, emergency medical technicians, Hazardous Materials response, and other specially qualified rescue personnel.