Albuquerque church gives heat sensing cameras to local fire departments

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque church is giving back to local first-responders by donating heat sensing cameras as their way of saying thank you for their service.

“I think on 9/11 we really learned who our real heroes were. Those are the guys that want to come in and the people that will come protect and save our lives,” said Steve Smothermon, the Senior Pastor at Legacy Church.

As a thank you to those first-responders, the people at Legacy Church are giving away thermal imaging cameras to fire departments across town. That would include the Albuquerque, Bernalillo County, and Rio Rancho Fire Departments. Larry Gallegos of Bernalillo County said he’s grateful for the generous donations.

“Just nice to know that folks at a local congregation understand the needs of public safety for not just the firefighters, but also the people of the community.”

The cameras range between $10,000 to $12,000 each. Legacy Church gives away two to three cameras a year on the anniversary of 9/11.

“It makes us feel good that we’re able to give something that they can really utilize, and it makes us feel good that they use it almost every day,” said Pastor Steve.

Not only will these cameras help save the lives of those in need, but they will also keep the firefighters safe.

“When you’re walking through a smoke filled room, they can’t see any better than the average person. So having a heat camera like this will allow them to be able to find persons who may still be in the fire,” said Gallegos.

Right now the Bernalillo County Fire Department almost have enough cameras for each station, and while they don’t expect donations, they appreciate the gesture.

“Anytime somebody wants to hand us a piece of equipment that’s going to make our job easier and more safe, we’re happy to be a part of it,” said Gallegos.

Legacy Church has given away thirty-two cameras in total and they say they will continue to give away cameras and buy upgrades as needed. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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