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

Phoenix Police...

Nick Borgia

Phoenix police successfully complete Operation Full Court Press to reduce crime

Phoenix police announced the completion of Operation Full Court Press, a five-day initiative focused on reducing crime.

13 minutes ago

A large fire burns...

Weekend Wrap-Up: Here are the biggest Phoenix news stories from May 17-19

From a standoff in Surprise to a fire burning across Tonto National Forest, here are some of the biggest news stories from the weekend.

2 hours ago

State Route 87 closure...

State Route 87 southbound lanes reopen near Fort McDowell Road

The southbound/westbound lanes of State Route 87 reopened near Fort McDowell Road, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

5 hours ago

Marriott and Westin hotels are collaborating on a new hotel in Phoenix that is expected to be open ...

Bailey Leasure

Marriott, Westin collaborate on dual-branded hotel coming to Phoenix

Marriott and Westin hotels are collaborating on a new hotel in Phoenix that is expected to be open by late 2025.

6 hours ago

File photo of Phoenix police SUVs parked in front of a metal utility pole. A suspect was arrested A...

Man arrested after allegedly assaulting Phoenix police during apprehension

A man was arrested after Phoenix police officers intervened in a physical fight on Saturday, authorities said.

10 hours ago

Scottsdale Fire Department was among the groups assisting with "Wildcat Fire" containment over the ...

Cave Creek Ranger District closed in wake of ‘Wildcat Fire’ containment efforts

The Tonto National Forest issued a monthlong closure of the Cave Creek Ranger District as crews continue to fight the "Wildcat Fire."

12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

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