About

The Prescott Fire Department is the oldest fire department in the state of Arizona. It was established in 1885 and is today a modern and highly professional career fire department. The department has a wonderful history full of firefighting traditions and past times.

Prescott still has its original Engine No. 1, a 1926 American LaFrance Type 75.
Prescott still has its original Engine No. 1,
a 1926 American LaFrance Type 75.

The department consists of 55 suppression personnel, five fire stations, and serves a population of 49,881 over 41.5 square miles. We are dedicated to providing the highest level of service in the prevention and mitigation of emergency incidents in a growing community and treating our citizens and employees in a fair and considerate manner while remaining financially responsible.

The Prescott Fire Department values a creative and proactive work place, and is involved in numerous joint partnerships to include automatic aid with the Central Arizona Fire and Medical Authority, United States Forest Service, and Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe.

We are dedicated to excellence in service for our customers. The Prescott Fire Department managed the first vegetation reduction crew with 400 area homes being successfully treated for wildland defensible space. We successfully secured a follow-up national fire program grant to continue vegetation reduction, and are a firewise model community within the nation in regards to mitigating the wildland urban interface issue that exists within our region.

Our communications center dispatched 8,808 emergency calls for Prescott Fire Department in the fiscal year of 2015. These calls were processed in less than 60 seconds, 94.65% of the time. Fire Prevention reviewed 1,644 plans for new subdivisions and buildings, trained 1,985 students in fire/life safety. The City of Prescott is currently using the 2006 International Fire Code, Wildland Urban Interface Code, and the 2012 International Fire Code.

Department apparatus are always staffed with at least one Paramedic who is skilled in advanced cardiac life support. Personnel and equipment are dispatched nationwide as part of our off district wildland/all risk response team. Suppression members conducted 16,135 man-hours of in-service training in all aspects of emergency services to include advanced and basic life support, fire suppression, wildland fire suppression, aircraft rescue firefighting, hazardous materials, confined space rescue, trench rescue, high and low angle rope rescue, helicopter operations, child safety, public education, mass casualty, natural disasters, and terrorism.

On May 15th, 2002, the most significant wildland fire in Prescott for over 100 years took place. The “Indian” Fire started near Indian Creek Road in the Prescott National Forest and burned into the city limits. Five homes were destroyed along with 1,365 acres of vegetation. 1500 people were evacuated and 2000 homes were directly threatened. Because of USFS fuel reduction and a quick coordinated initial attack by the USFS, Prescott Fire Department, Central Airzona Fire and Medical Authority, the cooperation of the Prescott Police Department, Yavapai County Sheriff’s office, Yavapai Division of Emergency Management and numerous volunteers. The fire was contained in five days. The cost of fighting the fire was approximately $3,000,000.

CONTACT

  • Fire
  • Fire Admin
  • Fire Department

    1700 Iron Springs Rd

  • 928-777-1700
  • 928-776-1890

FAQ

    • A fire can double in size every 60 seconds, while exponentially increasing in temperature. In minutes, the temperature can reach 1,000 degrees Celsius; too high for anything to survive. In the free burning stage of a modern lightweight construction building, firefighters have approximately 16 minutes before the roof collapses.
    • Smoke alarms and an escape plan will get you and your family out of a burning house alive, but they cannot fight the fire.
    • Fires, and burns caused by fire, are some of the most devastating events imaginable, especially since many fires are preventable and avoidable. The destruction caused by fires, inside and outside the home, can be catastrophic causing major damage, and in many cases, serious injury and death.
    • Fire can strike without warning, any place, and any time. According to the National Fire Protection Association, hundred of thousands of fires in the United States each year cause over 15,000 deaths and serious injuries. These numbers are astonishing.
    • When there is a fire, temperatures can rise to hundreds of degrees in just a few seconds. This makes escaping difficult, and if you don’t move quickly enough to get away from the fire, your chances of getting seriously injured or dying increases drastically.
    • It has been determined that one breathe of intense heat can cause severe lung damage and may cause a person to become unconscious immediately.
    • Fire can move very fast and it can block your escape route in a matter of seconds. You can find yourself surrounded by the flames in all the confusion, panic and become disoriented.
    • Although fire does provide some light, when it is intense, it produces dark and heavy smoke, which darkens the air and makes it hard to see and breathe.
    • Smoke and fumes are just as deadly and may be a major cause of death during fires.
    • Most fire fatalities happen between the hours of 2 A.M. and 6 A.M. This is the time when most people are asleep and, unless there is a fire alarm going off; they may not wake up in time to make an escape. Many people have been found dead in their beds after a fire, which suggests that they may not have awakened.
    • Many people don’t practice escape drills, have a plan in place, and don’t keep flashlights near their beds or where they can easily put their hands on them.
    • During a fire, time is of the essence. A house fire can grow tremendously fast in just seconds, which leaves little time to think about what needs to be done. You must act immediately to get your family to safety.
    • Alarms, sprinkler systems, extinguishers, and smoke detectors have made a valuable impact in drastically reducing the number of injuries and deaths caused by fires. However, much more needs to be done to continue educating people about fires and how to prevent them in the first place.
  • Statistical Comparison Fire Department
    Year 1970 1986 1990 1995 2000 2005 2009 2010
    Call Volume 431 2220 2950 3953 5247 7082 8273 TBD
    # of Firefighters 22 43 51.5 52 57 60 61 60
    # of Fire Engines 6 6 7 7 9 9 9 9
    Stations 2 3 4 5 5 5 5 5
    Population 16,880 22,908 24,905 30,600 35,000 40,225 43,287 47,400
    Square miles 10 24.7 31.14 34 36 38.63 38.63 42
    Ave. Response Time (Minutes) UNK 4.2 4.5 4.2 4.41 6.22 6.37 TBD
  • The PFD has made various cuts to its budget while trying to maintain our level of service and avoid any lay-offs or across the board pay cuts.

    • Due to good foresight we started cutting our operating budget, which is comprised of personnel, supplies, services, and capital expenditures, before the downturn began. Our proposed operating budget has no room for unforeseen emergency costs such as a major equipment breakdown.
    • Wages for all personnel were frozen effective July 1, 2009.
    • Since early 2009, we did not fill the position of two Deputy Chiefs and a Senior Fire Inspector.
    • Reduction in overtime by “bumping down” a Battalion Chief to the Captain seat when we are below minimum manning. A Division Chief or higher covers the role of Battalion Chief only for major incidents.
    Operating Budget for the past 7 years
    2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
    $5,682,311 $6,195,002 $7,312,241 $7,817,906 $7,459,080 $6,995,951 $6,851,841
    • The Fire Department is funded by the City’s general fund.
    • The General fund is funded through city sales tax revenue
    • Minimal property tax
    • State shared revenues:
      • Highway user funds
      • Fire Insurance tax premiums
    • GMHS cost recovered from Off District assignments
    • Revenues:
      • Wildland
      • Donations
      • Off District teams and engines
      • CPR / First Aid
      • Fuels management
      • Grants
      • Issuance of permits
  • Of our many calls this year, your firefighters will not only be at risk when responding to fires and other emergences but on medical calls too. Fire fighting involves hazardous conditions, long and irregular hours.

    Frequently injuries include backs, knees and shoulders. Your Firefighters respond to help those in our community who are the most ill, and are therefore exposed to many contagious diseases. They are commonly exposed to HIV, TB, Hepatitis B, Influenza, Pneumonia, Meningitis, Chickenpox, Mumps, Rubella, Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Clostridium difficile, and Necrotizing fasciitis.

    Many Firefighters are injured or killed each year by:
    • Heart Attacks
    • Responding to emergencies
    • Collapse of buildings
    • Falls
    • Explosions
    • Disorientation
    The Overall Fire Picture
    • There were 3,320 civilians that lost their lives as the result of fire.
    • There were 16,705 civilian injuries that occurred as the result of fire.
    • There were 118 firefighters killed while on duty.
    • Fire killed more Americans than all natural disasters combined.
    • Eighty-four percent of all civilian fire deaths occurred in residences.
    • There were an estimated 1.5 million fires in 2008.
    • Direct property loss due to fires was estimated at $15.5 billion. This figure includes the 2008 California wildfires with an estimated loss of $1.4 billion.
    • An estimated 32,500 intentionally set structure fires resulted in 315 civilian deaths.
    • Intentionally set structure fires resulted in an estimated $866 million in property damage.

    Source: National Fire Protection Association Fire Loss in the U.S. 2008 and USFA’s Firefighter Fatalities in the United States in 2008.

    Staggering statistics from America
    • As firefighters, they are anywhere from TWICE AS LIKELY to SIX TIMES AS LIKELY to contract various forms of cancer.
    • British Columbia – Amendments to the Workers Compensation Act have been introduced to recognize the following cancers as diseases that can arise where a worker is employed full-time as a firefighter and has been regularly exposed to the hazards of a fire scene, other than forest fire scene, over certain periods of time.
      • Primary Leukemia Employed for at least 5 years.
      • Primary site Brain cancer Employed for at least 10 years.
      • Primary site Bladder cancer Employed for at least 15 years.
      • Primary site Ureter cancer Employed for at least 15 years
      • Primary site Kidney cancer Employed for at least 20 years.
      • Primary non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma Employed for at least 20 years.
      • Primary site Colorectoral cancer Employed for at least 20 years.
    • The Prescott Fire Department (PFD) has Intergovernmental Agreements (IGA’s) for Automatic Aid with Central Yavapai Fire District (CYFD), Chino Valley Fire District (CVFD), and Groom Creek Fire District (GCFD). Automatic aid means that there is a predetermined response set at the Prescott Regional Communications Center (PRCC) that allows us to give and receive assistance without having to make a special request.
    • We have a mutual aid agreement with the other area departments. Mutual aid requires the department in need to make a special request for assistance.
    • Under the oversight of the PFD, PRCC dispatches for 9 different agencies, 6 fire and 3 police.
    • Since 1995, we have had a countywide mutual aid system set up to assist any county department on any type of large-scale incident. A simple phone call to a pre-designated “Area Resource Coordinator” activates and deploys the appropriate resources to assist anywhere in Yavapai County. A statewide mutual aid system was recently implemented, which works under the same premise.
    • Since 1990, we have had a unique interagency relationship with the United States Forest Service (USFS). The relationship creates a seamless response by both agencies into the urban wildland interface. The USFS houses an engine at PFD Station 71 as well as two CYFD stations. This is a model relationship that does not exist anywhere else in the United States that we know of.
    • Within the Prescott Basin we have a quick response to any wildland fire. This is referred to as our “Initial Attack Zone”, a 45-minute range in the greater Prescott area, in which area departments will send their closest on duty engine to a wildland fire without delay.
    • We have a contract with the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe which provides immediate fire protection, emergency medical services, and all other call types we manage.
    • We have other IGA’s with: YRMC, Yavapai Community College, Joint training with CYFD, Joint Reserves with CYFD and CVFD, and Disaster Preparedness with Yavapai County Emergency Management (YCEM).
    • Other cooperative efforts are with the Prescott Area Wildland Urban Interface Commission (PAWUIC) and Arizona Wildland Academy (AWA).
    • PFD personnel have involvement in many organizations: AZ Fire Chiefs Assoc., AZ Fire Marshals Assoc., AZ Fire Trainers Assoc., AZ Division of Forestry, National Forest Health Council, Firewise USA, Western Fire Chiefs Assoc., International Association of Fire Chiefs, and AZ Homeland Security Western Region Area Council.

    Our interagency cooperation and involvement in the aforementioned organizations has and will continue to greatly benefit our community. The cooperation has allowed the Prescott Fire Department to provide the high quality of service we enjoy today.

    • Your Prescott Firefighters are involved in numerous activities throughout this community. Some unorganized volunteer commitments include: volunteering as youth mentors and coaches in athletic as well as fine arts types of activities with children at all ages, volunteer in church activities with multiple congregations throughout Prescott, Big Brothers and Big Sisters mentors, CPR instructors, EMT instructors, college instructors, and filling many other community needs or requests.
    • One of the most noteworthy items that the Prescott Firefighters have done recently is, create a 501C3 Charity, Prescott Firefighter Charities (PFC), and ensure that the majority of the proceeds stay in the community.
    • In 2009 PFC raised over $36,000 from fundraisers and donations from the public as well as our own members. Fundraisers that we conducted in 2009 were:
      • First Annual Horseshoe Tournament
      • Car wash
      • Design and sale of 4th of July t-shirts
      • Tip a Firefighter Night at Red Robin
      • Night Out Texas Style at Texas Roadhouse
      • Pizza and a Pitcher Night at Prescott Brewing Company
    • In 2009 PFC donated over $26,000 to organizations and citizens within the Prescott community. Organizations and causes that we donated to in 2009 were:
      • Under-Privileged Children to participate in the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council
      • Camp Courage Burn Camp for Kids
      • Under-Privileged Children to Participate in the City Bowling League
      • Make a Wish Foundation
      • Yavapai Food Bank
      • The Salvation Army Angel Tree
      • Less fortunate folks that are in need by fixing roofs, or building handicap ramps, purchasing broken down appliances for the elderly that are in need and cannot afford it.
      • Funeral services for recently retired Battalion Chief Brad Malm
      • Flowers for City of Prescott Employees in the hospital
      • The Prescott Fire Honor Guard
      • Fire Department members that had family in the hospital for a heart transplant
  • The current national standard (NFPA 1710 – For Career Fire Departments) recommends 4 people per engine, 6 per Truck Company, and 2 medics per paramedic engine. Current staffing for PFD is 3 people per engine and/or truck and one paramedic per paramedic engine.

  • The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), Standard 1710, details response times for both EMS and Fire calls. The standard states that:

    • Fire departments are required to provide some level of EMS. The standard establishes a turnout time of one minute, and four minutes or less for the arrival of a unit with first responder or higher level capability at an emergency medical incident. This objective should be met 90% of the time.
    • If a fire department provides Advanced Life Support (ALS) services, the standard recommends arrival of an ALS company within an eight-minute response time to 90% of incidents. This does not preclude the four-minute initial response.
    • For fire responses, NFPA 1710 allows one minute for turnout, and calls for the first engine company to arrive at a fire-suppression incident in four minutes, and/or eight minutes for the first full-alarm assignment, 90% of the time.
    • Firefighters are required a minimum 20 hours of fire specific training a month. The minimum training does not cover some specialties such as technical rescue, EMS, and ARFF.
    • Some training is completed on-line or at the fire stations. Some training, due to specialty, degree of difficulty, or amount of personnel and equipment required to complete the training, cannot be completed at the fire station because of space. That training requires special props, a large area to conduct training, and realistic locations. Multiple company drills, as well as night drills, are required.
    • Automatic aid agreements with the other area fire departments require joint training. The training helps personnel familiarize themselves with each other and their equipment, which makes us more efficient on the emergency scene. Automatic aid drills require that engines move out of their area to conduct these drills.
    • Live fire training is an annual requirement for firefighters. The Prescott Fire Department used to be able to conduct live fire evolutions in the training tower located at the fire department training center off Sundog Ranch Rd. The tower is over 30 years old. Live fire training was stopped 2 years ago after a private engineering firm recommended that tower not be used for live fire training due to deteriorating conditions in the building.
    • Central Yavapai Fire District now is the only fire agency in the area with a Burn Tower. The tower is located in the east side of Prescott Valley. Our units have to travel there to receive live fire training. This is a 30 minute trip one way to the Central Yavapai Regional Training Academy. A 20 mile round trip.
    • When units are taken out of their response areas for training, other units are positioned to cover multiple response areas to help reduce the response times.
  • Fire stations are strategically located with 24/7 Paramedic coverage to provide rapid medical response. In the vast majority of cases, they will be the first emergency units to the scene. The minimum training for a firefighter is Basic Emergency Medical Technician. Twenty-eight of our personnel are trained Paramedics. Each fire truck has the equipment necessary to deal with the majority of the problems that could be encountered at any medical scene. Ancillary problems include extrication of patients from vehicles and equipment, addressing spilled or leaking flammable and combustible liquids, and ensuring overall scene safety of the general public, all first responders, and patients.

    While the ambulance crews do assist with patient care and treatment, their primary responsibility is to transport patients to the hospital in their vehicle. Ambulances carry no equipment to mitigate any of the ancillary problems that may be associated with the call. In cases where Advanced Life Support is needed, the fire department requires that a Paramedic ride to the hospital in the ambulance to continue patient care.

    The Police Department responds to assure the safety of our personnel on occasions where there has been, or could be, the potential for violence at the scene. Police enforcement is also used for crowd and traffic control of the scene.

  • Fact: Approximately 70% of our call volume is for medical emergencies. Of that 70%, 55% are true medical emergencies that require invasive treatment to the patient(s). In 2009, PFD responded to 8,273 calls for service.

    While the majority of calls are medical, your fire department is ready and highly trained to respond to any call type without delay. The large fire trucks have all the necessary equipment to manage any incident type we are called to. Call types include, but are not limited to:

    • Fires: e.g. structure, wildland, vehicle, and dumpster/refuse.
    • Emergency Medical Service (EMS): e.g. auto accidents, advanced life support, basic life support, environmental, and psychiatric emergencies.
    • Special Operations: e.g. confined space, swift water, trench, rope, and structural collapse rescues.
    • Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting (ARFF): e.g. air crashes, declared in flight emergencies, standby for commercial flights (required by FAA), and standby for tanker base flights.
    • Hazardous Materials: e.g. carbon monoxide, chemical spills, fuel spills, and incandescent laboratories.
    • Public Assists: e.g. bees, snakes, fire alarms, and vehicle lockouts (with children or pets).

    PFD has 3 utility type vehicles for special operations which carry supplemental and specialized equipment for hazardous materials incidents, technical rescue (defined as: rope rescue – both high and low angle, dive rescue, swift water, structural collapse, and trench/confined space), and a utility vehicle for large scale incidents that provides breathing air, lighting, salvage and overhaul equipment, and firefighter rehabilitation. We also have three patrol vehicles for wildland fires and 1 foam truck for ARFF.

    • Our firefighters work 24-hour shifts. They go to the market to buy food so that they can eat their meals in the fire stations. Trips to the markets are coordinated with other daily activities in an effort to stay in the center of their response districts.
    • Our firefighters pay for their own meals as the fire department does not pay them a per diem.
    • Firefighters prepare their own meals as a healthier and more cost effective alternative to eating out. At times, due to heavy call volumes, they literally must eat on the run and it is not uncommon to miss a meal altogether.
    • Forbes magazine has stated recently that Firefighting has been named the most stressful profession. Firefighters eat at irregular times and their sleep cycles are typically interrupted.
    • The leading cause of Firefighter line of duty death is from heart attack. It is typically just under 50%. (Ref. National Firefighter Academy Fallen Firefighter Foundation)
    • Back and orthopedic injuries are the predominant reason for early disability retirement. Firefighters will typically exceed their maximum heart rates for extended periods while performing firefighting duties.
    • The citizens of our community depend on our firefighters to respond to and mitigate emergencies at a moments notice. Your safety and our safety demand that firefighters handle the physical, mental and emotional stresses of any emergency situation.
    • We expect our firefighters to participate in physical fitness activities for 1 to 1.5 hours each shift as well as encourage them to keep up a fitness regimen on their days off, in order to stay in top physical condition. We have fitness requirements that they must maintain and they must pass a physical assessment test twice a year.
  • The ability to operate an ambulance in the State of Arizona is governed by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), through the issuance of a Certificate of Necessity (C.O.N.). ADHS issues certificates based on the needs of an area, in other words, a need must be proven in order for ADHS to consider issuing a certificate. There is a current C.O.N. holder in the area that has the certificate for the entire region, and has for over 40 years. That holder is meeting their state mandated response times, and for a much larger geographical area than just the City of Prescott. The process to attempt to gain a C.O.N. from ADHS, especially give the current circumstances would be lengthy and expensive.

NEWS

Prescott Fire Department has been approved for nearly $83,000 to support Hazardous Fuels Reduction project

Posted on September 13, 2018

The Prescott Fire Department has been approved for a grant in the amount of $82,674 to support the Mountain Club Hazardous Fuels Reduction project.  The grant is administered by the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management. According to Prescott… Read more »

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