In unique partnership, Phoenix fire truck housed at Glendale station

Nov 27, 2018, 4:45 AM | Updated: 7:21 am
(KTAR Photo/Ali Vetnar)...
(KTAR Photo/Ali Vetnar)
(KTAR Photo/Ali Vetnar)

PHOENIX – Two Valley fire departments are partnering to create a concept that hasn’t been done in any other state.

Glendale Fire Station 154 will house a Phoenix Fire Department advanced life support truck in hopes of easing Glendale’s burden of running calls into Phoenix’s jurisdiction.

The facility near 43rd and Peoria avenues, just west of the Glendale-Phoenix border, was ranked the 80th-busiest fire station in the nation in 2017.

Most of the calls take the Glendale fire fighters east on Peoria and into Phoenix.

“With this one truck being out on calls the majority of the time, if there is another 911 request in the area it strains the system and requires the two Phoenix stations to the east as well as the two Glendale stations to the west to come into this area,” said Alexander Yates of the Glendale Fire Department.

Glendale has an agreement to respond to Phoenix emergency calls if it has the closest available engine. And the medical calls are non-stop.

“It’s delaying our response times for the citizens as well as depleting other areas around the city to come fill this hole,” Yates said of all the calls into Phoenix.

Four Phoenix Fire Department employees — a captain, an engineer and two fire fighters — are accompanying the truck at the Glendale station.

The Phoenix crew’s primary role is to respond to those medical emergency calls in Phoenix that have been overwhelming the Glendale station.

“This was absolutely something that was needed,” Phoenix Fire Captain Rob McDade said.

“When you look at where the trucks are running, they were in Phoenix a majority of the time, and then our crews were coming into Glendale.”

The integration of the Phoenix crew into the Glendale station has been almost seamless, aside from the banter and teasing about the different colors of the trucks (Glendale’s are yellow, Phoenix’s red).

The two departments, as well as those in several other surrounding cities, often test together, go through the academy together and do special training together.

“When a 911 call goes off it doesn’t matter where you live – we are going to go take care of you,” McDade said.

In a perfect world there would be more stations, but that’s out of the department’s hands.

“At our level, we’re just worried about providing the best customer service to the citizens that we can and taking care of people to the best of our ability,” Yates said.

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In unique partnership, Phoenix fire truck housed at Glendale station