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Phoenix first responders preparing for visit from President Trump

President Donald Trump talks with reporters before boarding Air Force One for a trip to Los Angeles to attend a campaign fundraiser, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020, in Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

PHOENIX — With heavy communication posted to the city’s social media, the Phoenix Police and Fire departments are focused on preparedness and safety ahead of President Trump’s rally at the Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday evening.

“A lot of the takeaways from our 2017 Presidential visit was the ability to communicate,” Phoenix Police Sgt. Mercedes Fortune told KTAR News 92.3 FM. “Communicate the clear and concise message that we want our community to hear.”

Not only does Phoenix police want attendees to have a full understanding on what to expect when it comes to traffic and parking, but they also have tried to mitigate any troubles for those who live nearby.

“We’ve issued door hangers advising them on what to expect and phone numbers to call,” Fortune said. “We actually have community action officers who are working in that area as well.”

With heavy traffic and limited parking expected, Phoenix police recommends rally attendees to carpool or use public transportation. Any cars parked in unlawful areas are expected to be towed.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety will be in control of what happens within the the location premises because the land is state owned.

Phoenix police patrols will be the outside of the Coliseum and the streets surrounding it. Phoenix firefighters will be on both the inside and outside offering medical support for any emergencies.

“In 2017, we learned as much as you can plan there’s some things you just can’t plan for,” Phoenix Fire Capt. Rob McDade said. “That’s why this time we are implementing more personnel.”

McDade believes they are going to have more firefighters than they would like to think they would need. That being roughly 30 firefighters who double as medics patrolling on golf carts inside the fairgrounds.

“When we look at the footprint where Grand Avenue meets the train track meets McDowell, we want a zero response time for an event as big as this,” McDade added.

The golf carts are fully stocked with supplies needed for any kind of medical emergency whether that’s catastrophic or as something as simple as heat stroke or dehydration.

The Phoenix firefighters that patrol the inside of the president’s event in Phoenix are not on their own, though. McDade describes them as the first line of defense.

“Our folks will be peppered through the fair grounds and then our next layer is the immediate perimeter of the fairgrounds,” McDade said. “We learned from 2017 when everybody spills out when the event is over there can be some clashing.”

During the president’s last visit to Phoenix, McDade says there were no immediate on site fire trucks staged. They’re changing that this time hoping to mitigate any emergencies and having a quicker response times.

The Phoenix fire stations nearby have been briefed on the events expected in Phoenix both the President’s rally and opposing protests. If needed, those crews will be called on for support.

“We’ve been planning for the president’s visit since last week and we’re confident we are ready for anything,” McDade said. “With DPS in control and Phoenix police’s help, our folks have multiple radios on multiple different channels communicating with everyone.”

The city wants anyone attending to “know before they go.” Anyone attending the rally, protests, or happens to be near the area is encouraged to check out the city’s advice and helpful tips.

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