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Temp Firefighters Arrested

SANTA FE, N.M. — Two seasonal employees for the Santa Fe Fire Department were arrested Wednesday night after police caught one of them, who is 19, drinking beer on city property.

And he may have been noticed because that station is in the same area as the Santa Fe Police Department’s Professional Standards division.

“There’s police driving down the street all the time,” said Santa Fe police Capt. Aric Wheeler. “You’re rolling the dice thinking you’re not gonna be seen by somebody.”

An officer spotted Genaro Romero drinking a beer in front of the fire station at 2501 Camino Entrado just after 11 p.m. Wednesday. When the officer asked why he was drinking beer on city property, Romero said he was a firefighter. The officer then checked Romero’s identification and saw he was 19.

Under questioning, Romero said he got the beer from Rene Arellano, 24, who was inside the building and admitted providing the booze, according to Wheeler.


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Romero and Arellano were temporary firefighters for the city’s Wildland Fire Team. The two had been working as forestry technicians during the area’s wildfire season and their last day was scheduled for today, according to Santa Fe Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Eric Litzenberg.

Until they were arrested Wednesday.

“They’re no longer employed by us,” said Litzenberg, who would not elaborate when asked if they were terminated.

Romero was arrested on a charge of minor in possession of alcohol, while Arellano was charged with providing alcohol to a minor, which is a felony, according to Wheeler.