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Mesa to allow private businesses to place sponsorships on fire trucks

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PHOENIX — Private businesses will be allowed to sponsor health and safety messages on fire trucks in Arizona’s third most populous city.

The Mesa Fire and Medical Department said sponsors will be allowed to place decals on fire trucks and receive trading cards with images of the vehicles and the sponsor’s business logo.

Deputy Chief Forrest Smith said the department will be “very particular” in accepting particular sponsors but that the department hopes the program will generate about $250,000 to help reduce budget cuts.

“When we can have the private sector involved, that would help us save taxpayer dollars on having to try to create educational programs, when we can save money and put it toward our operational costs,” he said.

The decals will be placed on the sides of fire trucks and will be used to educate people about drowning prevention, stopping the spread of the flu and other messages, Smith said.

“The intent is not to wrap firetrucks with sponsorships and to look like NASCAR vehicles,” he said. “The idea is to have a form in which businesses can help us educate [the public].”

The sponsorships are set to begin in December.

One Mesa fire engine already features a Mesa Chamber of Commerce decal with a health message about the flu, and chamber President and CEO Sally Harrison said several chamber members are interested in sponsorships.

 KTAR News’ Kathy Cline and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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