Phoenix Fire Department response times increasing due to lack of resources, population growth

Aug 15, 2022, 12:02 PM

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Fire Department)...

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Fire Department)

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Fire Department)

PHOENIX – Phoenix Fire Department leaders are sounding the alarm over a lack of resources, which is leading to an 80% increase in call response times as the Valley’s population continues to boom.

Over the last 10 years, the Phoenix Fire’s call response times have gone from around 5 minutes to nearly 9 minutes.

“Us being able to get to you quickly and effectively is what leads to us being able to be the most effective at our job,” Capt. P.J. Dean said. “And that’s currently being inhibited by just a relentless call volume and lack of resources that we have just not been able to add over the years to keep pace with our current growth.”

Dean said Phoenix Fire call volumes have increased 48% in the past decade. Resources have only been upped 2%.

That 2% is one new fire engine and 40 new firefighters.

“You can imagine the strain that puts on your existing infrastructure of the fire department,” Dean said.

Dean is also secretary of the United Phoenix Fire Fighters Association, one of the Valley’s fire department unions that is working to educate Phoenix residents about the growing public safety concerns.

He added that if the city’s growth continues at this rate, the population by 2030 will reach 2.1 million and call response times will escalate to more than 14.5 minutes.

According to 2019 research from the National Fire Protection Agency, career fire departments saw a ratio of about 1.5-1.8 firefighters per 1,000 residents. In Phoenix, that ratio is 1 to 1,000.

Under the projected budget, the Phoenix Fire Department would be short by roughly 700 firefighters.

The union is specifically wanting to see the city to budget to add nearly 400 more fire fighters by 2030.

The United Phoenix Fire Fighters Association is calling on the city and residents to make the department a priority in the upcoming 2023 General Bond Obligation.

“In this bond process there’s a heavy amount of public input that goes into that and we would highly encourage all the residents of Phoenix to take part in this process because it does impact them heavily,” Dean said.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(AP Photo/Giovanna Dell'Orto)...

Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from May 26-28

Here are some of the biggest stories that headlined the Arizona news cycle over the busy Memorial Day Weekend.

19 hours ago

Migrants get help with the CBPOne app from a Tijuana, Mexico city worker Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023, in...

Associated Press

CBP One app assists asylum-seekers after end of Title 42

More than 79,000 people were admitted under CBP One from its Jan. 12 launch through the end of April.

19 hours ago

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Phoenix police investigate hit-and-run leaving 23-year-old woman dead

Phoenix police are investigating a hit-and-run that left one woman dead early on Sunday morning, authorities said.

19 hours ago

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)...

Wills Rice

Lake Pleasant, Salt River see heavy traffic during Memorial Day Weekend

Both Lake Pleasant and the Salt River have seen extensive traffic over Memorial Day Weekend as families try and beat the heat.

19 hours ago

(Facebook photo | Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)...

1 man dead; 2 women, 1 child hurt in Litchfield Park stabbing

One man is dead, two women are injured and one child was taken to a hospital after a stabbing in Litchfield Park.

19 hours ago

(Iren Byers - Mesa Police Photo)...

Police arrest suspect of 5 shootings that killed 4, injured 1 in Valley

Police arrested 20-year-old Iren Byers in connection to the deaths of four men and one injured woman in five separate shootings.

19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Desert Institute for Spine Care

Spinal fusion surgery has come a long way, despite misconceptions

As Dr. Justin Field of the Desert Institute for Spine Care explained, “we've come a long way over the last couple of decades.”



Why drug-free weight loss still matters

Wanting to lose weight is a common goal for many people as they progress throughout life, but choosing between a holistic approach or to take medicine can be a tough decision.

(Photo by Michael Matthey/picture alliance via Getty Images)...

Cox Communications

Valley Boys & Girls Club uses esports to help kids make healthy choices

KTAR’s Community Spotlight focuses on the Boys & Girls Club of the Valley and the work to incorporate esports into children's lives.

Phoenix Fire Department response times increasing due to lack of resources, population growth