Phoenix mayor commits to giving firefighters raises, more resources

Jun 4, 2019, 4:15 AM




PHOENIX — As the Phoenix population continues to increase, so do its residents’ calls for help.

From 2012 to 2018, the Phoenix Fire Department saw an increase of nearly 35,000 calls, or about 100 more calls per day.

Newly elected Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego is working side by side with her city’s first responders to ensure that this public safety need is met.

“We are committed to having the best fire department in the country and we are continuing to make investments to allow us to do that,” Gallego told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Monday.

Currently, the city of Phoenix is hiring firefighters, and Phoenix City Council is said to be making capital investments to benefit them.

“This year’s budget includes investments in new fire stations as well as officers to staff them,” Gallego said.

But in addition to the investments, the City Council is focused on analyzing data to find where the fire department’s resources are most badly needed.

The highly anticipated Phoenix Fire Station 55 that will soon be responding to the influx of calls in north Phoenix near Interstate 17 and Jomax Road received funds for its construction back in 2006.

It was put on hold when the economy took a down turn, but the project is back on and nearly complete.

As the City Council monitors where new fire stations and trucks are needed, other monetary resources are going into effect for Phoenix Fire.

“We just reached an agreement with our firefighters for raises. It will be most significant for the top end of the spectrum for our most experienced firefighters,” Gallego said.

“We want to make sure we are staying competitive and this is from feedback from the firefighters themselves. They said this is where the city’s dollars would be best spent.”

Before the new raise, Phoenix Fire captains and engineers were among the lowest-paid in the state, despite Phoenix having the largest fire department.

Now Phoenix’s firefighters, captains, and engineers are all the highest-paid throughout the state.

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Phoenix mayor commits to giving firefighters raises, more resources