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FAQ

There are a few different types of fire extinguishers. We suggest that you go to your local hardware store and see extinguishers for home use.

Residential smoke detectors are early warning devices to wake a sleeping person or persons. Smoke detectors should be placed in each bedroom (sleeping area) and in the hallway leading to the bedrooms.

Any Prescott Fire Station between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

No. The Fire Department does not respond to these requests. The Prescott Fire Department exists to assist the public in the protection of life and property by minimizing the impact of fire, medical emergencies, and potential disasters. We understand that pets are very important to you. However, to be consistent with the mission of the Prescott Fire Department, we recommend people contact the Humane Society for assistance or in the yellow pages under “Animal Rescue-Relocate & Transport”.

Contact Prescott Fire Department Administration, 777-1700.

Yes. Citizens should stay away from the swarm if possible and let bees move on to a different area. In a non-emergency situation call a bee control company in your yellow pages in your phone directory. Or you may contact the PFD dispatch non-emergency number, (928) 445-5357 or 911 in an emergency.

Fire stations are strategically located with 24/7 Paramedic coverage to provide rapid medical response. In the vast majority of cases, they will be the first emergency units to the scene. The minimum training for a firefighter is Basic Emergency Medical Technician. Twenty-eight of our personnel are trained Paramedics. Each fire truck has the equipment necessary to deal with the majority of the problems that could be encountered at any medical scene. Ancillary problems include extrication of patients from vehicles and equipment, addressing spilled or leaking flammable and combustible liquids, and ensuring overall scene safety of the general public, all first responders, and patients.

While the ambulance crews do assist with patient care and treatment, their primary responsibility is to transport patients to the hospital in their vehicle. Ambulances carry no equipment to mitigate any of the ancillary problems that may be associated with the call. In cases where Advanced Life Support is needed, the fire department requires that a Paramedic ride to the hospital in the ambulance to continue patient care.

The Police Department responds to assure the safety of our personnel on occasions where there has been, or could be, the potential for violence at the scene. Police enforcement is also used for crowd and traffic control of the scene.

Fact: Approximately 70% of our call volume is for medical emergencies. Of that 70%, 55% are true medical emergencies that require invasive treatment to the patient(s). In 2009, PFD responded to 8,273 calls for service.

While the majority of calls are medical, your fire department is ready and highly trained to respond to any call type without delay. The large fire trucks have all the necessary equipment to manage any incident type we are called to. Call types include, but are not limited to:

  • Fires: e.g. structure, wildland, vehicle, and dumpster/refuse.
  • Emergency Medical Service (EMS): e.g. auto accidents, advanced life support, basic life support, environmental, and psychiatric emergencies.
  • Special Operations: e.g. confined space, swift water, trench, rope, and structural collapse rescues.
  • Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting (ARFF): e.g. air crashes, declared in flight emergencies, standby for commercial flights (required by FAA), and standby for tanker base flights.
  • Hazardous Materials: e.g. carbon monoxide, chemical spills, fuel spills, and incandescent laboratories.
  • Public Assists: e.g. bees, snakes, fire alarms, and vehicle lockouts (with children or pets).

PFD has 3 utility type vehicles for special operations which carry supplemental and specialized equipment for hazardous materials incidents, technical rescue (defined as: rope rescue - both high and low angle, dive rescue, swift water, structural collapse, and trench/confined space), and a utility vehicle for large scale incidents that provides breathing air, lighting, salvage and overhaul equipment, and firefighter rehabilitation. We also have three patrol vehicles for wildland fires and 1 foam truck for ARFF.

  • Firefighters are required a minimum 20 hours of fire specific training a month. The minimum training does not cover some specialties such as technical rescue, EMS, and ARFF.
  • Some training is completed on-line or at the fire stations. Some training, due to specialty, degree of difficulty, or amount of personnel and equipment required to complete the training, cannot be completed at the fire station because of space. That training requires special props, a large area to conduct training, and realistic locations. Multiple company drills, as well as night drills, are required.
  • Automatic aid agreements with the other area fire departments require joint training. The training helps personnel familiarize themselves with each other and their equipment, which makes us more efficient on the emergency scene. Automatic aid drills require that engines move out of their area to conduct these drills.
  • Live fire training is an annual requirement for firefighters. The Prescott Fire Department used to be able to conduct live fire evolutions in the training tower located at the fire department training center off Sundog Ranch Rd. The tower is over 30 years old. Live fire training was stopped 2 years ago after a private engineering firm recommended that tower not be used for live fire training due to deteriorating conditions in the building.
  • Central Yavapai Fire District now is the only fire agency in the area with a Burn Tower. The tower is located in the east side of Prescott Valley. Our units have to travel there to receive live fire training. This is a 30 minute trip one way to the Central Yavapai Regional Training Academy. A 20 mile round trip.
  • When units are taken out of their response areas for training, other units are positioned to cover multiple response areas to help reduce the response times.

  • Our firefighters work 24-hour shifts. They go to the market to buy food so that they can eat their meals in the fire stations. Trips to the markets are coordinated with other daily activities in an effort to stay in the center of their response districts.
  • Our firefighters pay for their own meals as the fire department does not pay them a per diem.
  • Firefighters prepare their own meals as a healthier and more cost effective alternative to eating out. At times, due to heavy call volumes, they literally must eat on the run and it is not uncommon to miss a meal altogether.
  • Forbes magazine has stated recently that Firefighting has been named the most stressful profession. Firefighters eat at irregular times and their sleep cycles are typically interrupted.
  • The leading cause of Firefighter line of duty death is from heart attack. It is typically just under 50%. (Ref. National Firefighter Academy Fallen Firefighter Foundation)
  • Back and orthopedic injuries are the predominant reason for early disability retirement. Firefighters will typically exceed their maximum heart rates for extended periods while performing firefighting duties.
  • The citizens of our community depend on our firefighters to respond to and mitigate emergencies at a moments notice. Your safety and our safety demand that firefighters handle the physical, mental and emotional stresses of any emergency situation.
  • We expect our firefighters to participate in physical fitness activities for 1 to 1.5 hours each shift as well as encourage them to keep up a fitness regimen on their days off, in order to stay in top physical condition. We have fitness requirements that they must maintain and they must pass a physical assessment test twice a year.

The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), Standard 1710, details response times for both EMS and Fire calls. The standard states that:

  • Fire departments are required to provide some level of EMS. The standard establishes a turnout time of one minute, and four minutes or less for the arrival of a unit with first responder or higher level capability at an emergency medical incident. This objective should be met 90% of the time.
  • If a fire department provides Advanced Life Support (ALS) services, the standard recommends arrival of an ALS company within an eight-minute response time to 90% of incidents. This does not preclude the four-minute initial response.
  • For fire responses, NFPA 1710 allows one minute for turnout, and calls for the first engine company to arrive at a fire-suppression incident in four minutes, and/or eight minutes for the first full-alarm assignment, 90% of the time.

  • Firefighters start their 24-hour shift at 8 A.M. The Captain lines out the plan of the day for the Engineer and Firefighter(s). Daily requirements are in bold:
    • Inspecting and checking all medical and firefighting equipment
    • All personal protective equipment is mounted on the rig
    • Vehicles and the station are cleaned and maintained
    • Readiness to respond to any emergency
    • Reporting and recordkeeping
    • 1 -1.5 hours of physical fitness
    • 2-hours of training and/or drilling on a myriad of subjects that they are required to be proficient at. The training is done either online, at the training center, or on the fire station grounds.
    • Lunch and dinner
    • Fire safety business inspections
    • Hydrant maintenance
    • Public education programs
  • The average house fire is a multiple hour event for several fire engines. A wildland fire can last several 24-hour periods. The average medical emergency lasts at least an hour, which includes time for our Paramedics and EMT's to follow up with the patient to the nearest hospital.
  • Firefighters do try to sleep at night, but sometimes they do not sleep at all.
  • Many of the skills firefighters are subject to include rapidly changing technology. Firefighters are required to learn new techniques and technology constantly. One example is a vehicle. Think of how much the automobile has changed over the years. Now firefighters have to worry about air bags deploying, hybrid vehicles exploding, large batteries, electrical components, shocks, and many other items that have changed over time.

The ISO Fire Protection Rating System

  • For many years, the Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO) has evaluated and rated the fire protection provided in communities. The system is called the ISO Public Protection Classification program (PPC). The PPC process grades a community's fire protection on a scale of 1-10, based on ISO's PPC evaluations as a factor in setting the premiums they charge for property insurance; the better the community's PPC grade, the lower the premiums the insurance company would charge for property insurance in that community.
  • The Prescott Fire Department is currently an ISO Class 4 rated fire department. The rating provides the City of Prescott with value insurance rates for both residential and commercial property owners. ISO's data on fire losses indicates that communities with better fire protection as evaluated by the PPC, do in fact, tend to have lower losses from fire damage than other communities.
  • An ISO rating is based on a communities water supply (40%), equipment (26%), Personnel (15%), Alarm and dispatch (10%), and training (9%). The Prescott Fire Department is committed to improving our fire service delivery to our citizens and continually strives to improve on our ISO rating.

  • Your Prescott Fire Department is an all risk organization that responds to many call types and is ready to switch gears at any time to mitigate any emergencies.
  • Less than 10% of residential homes have sprinkler systems.
  • The majorities of the downtown buildings are not protected by sprinkler systems and have very heavy fire loads. The construction of these 100 + year old buildings have degraded through the years, which poses an increased in fire safety.
  • With Prescott's unique terrain, along with its growth into the forest boundaries, difficult access can cause delay to firefighting efforts.
  • The main purpose of a fire sprinkler system is to provide life safety and keep the fire in check prior to firefighter's arrival.
  • The Prescott Fire Department (PFD) has Intergovernmental Agreements (IGA's) for Automatic Aid with Central Yavapai Fire District (CYFD), Chino Valley Fire District (CVFD), and Groom Creek Fire District (GCFD). Automatic aid means that there is a predetermined response set at the Prescott Regional Communications Center (PRCC) that allows us to give and receive assistance without having to make a special request.
  • We have a mutual aid agreement with the other area departments. Mutual aid requires the department in need to make a special request for assistance.
  • Under the oversight of the PFD, PRCC dispatches for 9 different agencies, 6 fire and 3 police.
  • Since 1995, we have had a countywide mutual aid system set up to assist any county department on any type of large-scale incident. A simple phone call to a pre-designated "Area Resource Coordinator" activates and deploys the appropriate resources to assist anywhere in Yavapai County. A statewide mutual aid system was recently implemented, which works under the same premise.
  • Since 1990, we have had a unique interagency relationship with the United States Forest Service (USFS). The relationship creates a seamless response by both agencies into the urban wildland interface. The USFS houses an engine at PFD Station 71 as well as two CYFD stations. This is a model relationship that does not exist anywhere else in the United States that we know of.
  • Within the Prescott Basin we have a quick response to any wildland fire. This is referred to as our "Initial Attack Zone", a 45-minute range in the greater Prescott area, in which area departments will send their closest on duty engine to a wildland fire without delay.
  • We have a contract with the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe which provides immediate fire protection, emergency medical services, and all other call types we manage.
  • We have other IGA's with: YRMC, Yavapai Community College, Joint training with CYFD, Joint Reserves with CYFD and CVFD, and Disaster Preparedness with Yavapai County Emergency Management (YCEM).
  • Other cooperative efforts are with the Prescott Area Wildland Urban Interface Commission (PAWUIC) and Arizona Wildland Academy (AWA).
  • PFD personnel have involvement in many organizations: AZ Fire Chiefs Assoc., AZ Fire Marshals Assoc., AZ Fire Trainers Assoc., AZ Division of Forestry, National Forest Health Council, Firewise USA, Western Fire Chiefs Assoc., International Association of Fire Chiefs, and AZ Homeland Security Western Region Area Council.

Our interagency cooperation and involvement in the aforementioned organizations has and will continue to greatly benefit our community. The cooperation has allowed the Prescott Fire Department to provide the high quality of service we enjoy today.

The current national standard (NFPA 1710 - For Career Fire Departments) recommends 4 people per engine, 6 per Truck Company, and 2 medics per paramedic engine. Current staffing for PFD is 3 people per engine and/or truck and one paramedic per paramedic engine.

The ability to operate an ambulance in the State of Arizona is governed by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), through the issuance of a Certificate of Necessity (C.O.N.). ADHS issues certificates based on the needs of an area, in other words, a need must be proven in order for ADHS to consider issuing a certificate. There is a current C.O.N. holder in the area that has the certificate for the entire region, and has for over 40 years. That holder is meeting their state mandated response times, and for a much larger geographical area than just the City of Prescott. The process to attempt to gain a C.O.N. from ADHS, especially give the current circumstances would be lengthy and expensive.

Entry Level Firefighter 1970
  • High School Diploma or GED required.
  • No firefighting experience required.
  • No medical training required.
  • Primary emergency response duties were fires, rescues and some support for EMS calls. No one was trained beyond basic first aid. There was no wildland fire training, hazardous materials training, or any other specialty training.
  • Training was all "On The Job".

Entry Level Firefighter 2010
(The public needs have changed over the years and when no one else will come to their aid, they call the fire department. This has required firefighters to seek additional training beyond the traditional basic firefighting skills.)
  • Firefighter training does not just deal with fighting fires anymore. Firefighters need to be prepared for all risks now days. This includes training dealing with terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.
  • High School Diploma or GED required.
  • Firefighter I and II certification
  • Basic Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
  • Basic Wildland Firefighter
Promotion Opportunity
  • Some positions now require a minimum of an Associates of Arts in Fire Science to be eligible for promotion.
  • All positions require some upper education courses.
Other Training Requirements
  • OSHA required training has increased over the years. Example: Breathing apparatus training for firefighter, physical fitness requirements for wearing Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA), infectious control training, back safety, and driving emergency vehicles.
  • National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) who sets fire service standards has increased those standards over the years. Firefighter requirements (NFPA 1001), emergency apparatus driver requirements (1002), company officer requirements, and chief officer requirements have all increased and become recognized industrial standards across the country.
  • Arizona has state certification for fire department positions. These certifications are through the Arizona Center of Fire Service Excellence.
  • The fire service is an integral part of the community EMS system. This requires more extensive training hours. Basic EMT, which all firefighter are required to be, requires 180 plus hours of training. A paramedic is required to attend training for up to 12 months. Each EMS certification requires recertification every 2 years.
  • Hazardous Materials training is on going. Once the basic training is completed, 24 hours of refresher training is required each year. The hazardous material technician training is a five-week training session with monthly training required after that.
  • Technical rescue, which includes swift water, confined space, high angle, and building collapse require a 5-week technician course with quarterly refresher training yearly.
  • Aircraft rescue firefighting requires an initial 40-hour course with monthly refresher training and yearly live fire drills.
  • Wildland firefighting has numerous training courses to attend now days. From the Basic Wildland Firefighter to the more advanced. A firefighter need to attend required courses then complete position task books that may require multiple assignments on live wildland incidents before they become qualified. All personnel are required to attend an 8-hour refresher course each year.
NFPA Standards
What Are NFPA Standards?

Consensus standards are developed by specific industries to set forth widely accepted standards of care and operations for certain practices. Standards are an attempt by the industry or profession to self-regulate by establishing minimal operating, performance, or safety standards, and they establish a recognized standard of care. They are written by consensus committees composed of industry representatives and other affected parties. The NFPA has many standards, which affect fire departments. The standards should be followed to protect fire and rescue personnel from unnecessary workplace hazards and because they establish the standard of care that may be used in civil lawsuits against fire and rescue departments.

OSHA Standards
  • 29 CFR 1910 132.140 Personal Protection and Respirator Equipment (includes 2 in 2 out)
  • 29 CFR 1030 Occupational Exposure to Blood Borne Pathogen
  • 29 CFR 1910.120 Hazardous Material Operations
What are OSHA standards?

Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations are set forth in title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Although most of the regulations can be found in §1901 and §1910, fire departments should also look at §1926, which includes standards for trenching and shoring in the construction industry. State and local government rescue teams in state OSHA jurisdictions are required to comply with all applicable OSHA standards and even volunteer teams may be covered in some states. In non-OSHA states (i.e. a state which does not have its own state OSHA program), even though OSHA regulations may not apply to state or local fire or rescue agencies, fire departments should make every effort to comply with OSHA standards since they can be effective in protecting the health and safety of rescuers.

Of our many calls this year, your firefighters will not only be at risk when responding to fires and other emergences but on medical calls too. Fire fighting involves hazardous conditions, long and irregular hours.

Frequently injuries include backs, knees and shoulders. Your Firefighters respond to help those in our community who are the most ill, and are therefore exposed to many contagious diseases. They are commonly exposed to HIV, TB, Hepatitis B, Influenza, Pneumonia, Meningitis, Chickenpox, Mumps, Rubella, Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Clostridium difficile, and Necrotizing fasciitis.

Many Firefighters are injured or killed each year by:
  • Heart Attacks
  • Responding to emergencies
  • Collapse of buildings
  • Falls
  • Explosions
  • Disorientation
The Overall Fire Picture
  • There were 3,320 civilians that lost their lives as the result of fire.
  • There were 16,705 civilian injuries that occurred as the result of fire.
  • There were 118 firefighters killed while on duty.
  • Fire killed more Americans than all natural disasters combined.
  • Eighty-four percent of all civilian fire deaths occurred in residences.
  • There were an estimated 1.5 million fires in 2008.
  • Direct property loss due to fires was estimated at $15.5 billion. This figure includes the 2008 California wildfires with an estimated loss of $1.4 billion.
  • An estimated 32,500 intentionally set structure fires resulted in 315 civilian deaths.
  • Intentionally set structure fires resulted in an estimated $866 million in property damage.
Source: National Fire Protection Association Fire Loss in the U.S. 2008 and USFA's Firefighter Fatalities in the United States in 2008.


Staggering statistics from America
  • As firefighters, they are anywhere from TWICE AS LIKELY to SIX TIMES AS LIKELY to contract various forms of cancer.
  • British Columbia - Amendments to the Workers Compensation Act have been introduced to recognize the following cancers as diseases that can arise where a worker is employed full-time as a firefighter and has been regularly exposed to the hazards of a fire scene, other than forest fire scene, over certain periods of time.
    • Primary Leukemia Employed for at least 5 years.
    • Primary site Brain cancer Employed for at least 10 years.
    • Primary site Bladder cancer Employed for at least 15 years.
    • Primary site Ureter cancer Employed for at least 15 years
    • Primary site Kidney cancer Employed for at least 20 years.
    • Primary non-Hodgkin's lymphoma Employed for at least 20 years.
    • Primary site Colorectoral cancer Employed for at least 20 years.

  • Your Prescott Firefighters are involved in numerous activities throughout this community. Some unorganized volunteer commitments include: volunteering as youth mentors and coaches in athletic as well as fine arts types of activities with children at all ages, volunteer in church activities with multiple congregations throughout Prescott, Big Brothers and Big Sisters mentors, CPR instructors, EMT instructors, college instructors, and filling many other community needs or requests.
  • One of the most noteworthy items that the Prescott Firefighters have done recently is, create a 501C3 Charity, Prescott Firefighter Charities (PFC), and ensure that the majority of the proceeds stay in the community.
  • In 2009 PFC raised over $36,000 from fundraisers and donations from the public as well as our own members. Fundraisers that we conducted in 2009 were:
    • First Annual Horseshoe Tournament
    • Car wash
    • Design and sale of 4th of July t-shirts
    • Tip a Firefighter Night at Red Robin
    • Night Out Texas Style at Texas Roadhouse
    • Pizza and a Pitcher Night at Prescott Brewing Company
  • In 2009 PFC donated over $26,000 to organizations and citizens within the Prescott community. Organizations and causes that we donated to in 2009 were:
    • Under-Privileged Children to participate in the Mayor's Youth Advisory Council
    • Camp Courage Burn Camp for Kids
    • Under-Privileged Children to Participate in the City Bowling League
    • Make a Wish Foundation
    • Yavapai Food Bank
    • The Salvation Army Angel Tree
    • Less fortunate folks that are in need by fixing roofs, or building handicap ramps, purchasing broken down appliances for the elderly that are in need and cannot afford it.
    • Funeral services for recently retired Battalion Chief Brad Malm
    • Flowers for City of Prescott Employees in the hospital
    • The Prescott Fire Honor Guard
    • Fire Department members that had family in the hospital for a heart transplant
  • The Fire Department is funded by the City's general fund.
  • The General fund is funded through city sales tax revenue
  • Minimal property tax
  • State shared revenues:
    • Highway user funds
    • Fire Insurance tax premiums
  • GMHS cost recovered from Off District assignments
  • Revenues:
    • Wildland
    • Donations
    • Off District teams and engines
    • CPR / First Aid
    • Fuels management
    • Grants
    • Issuance of permits

The PFD has made various cuts to its budget while trying to maintain our level of service and avoid any lay-offs or across the board pay cuts.

  • Due to good foresight we started cutting our operating budget, which is comprised of personnel, supplies, services, and capital expenditures, before the downturn began. Our proposed operating budget has no room for unforeseen emergency costs such as a major equipment breakdown.
  • Wages for all personnel were frozen effective July 1, 2009.
  • Since early 2009, we did not fill the position of two Deputy Chiefs and a Senior Fire Inspector.
  • Reduction in overtime by "bumping down" a Battalion Chief to the Captain seat when we are below minimum manning. A Division Chief or higher covers the role of Battalion Chief only for major incidents.
Operating Budget for the past 7 years
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
$5,682,311 $6,195,002 $7,312,241 $7,817,906 $7,459,080 $6,995,951 $6,851,841

Statistical Comparison Fire Department
Year 1970 1986 1990 1995 2000 2005 2009 2010
Call Volume 431 2220 2950 3953 5247 7082 8273 TBD
# of Firefighters 22 43 51.5 52 57 60 61 60
# of Fire Engines 6 6 7 7 9 9 9 9
Stations 2 3 4 5 5 5 5 5
Population 16,880 22,908 24,905 30,600 35,000 40,225 43,287 47,400
Square miles 10 24.7 31.14 34 36 38.63 38.63 42
Ave. Response Time (Minutes) UNK 4.2 4.5 4.2 4.41 6.22 6.37 TBD
  • A fire can double in size every 60 seconds, while exponentially increasing in temperature. In minutes, the temperature can reach 1,000 degrees Celsius; too high for anything to survive. In the free burning stage of a modern lightweight construction building, firefighters have approximately 16 minutes before the roof collapses.
  • Smoke alarms and an escape plan will get you and your family out of a burning house alive, but they cannot fight the fire.
  • Fires, and burns caused by fire, are some of the most devastating events imaginable, especially since many fires are preventable and avoidable. The destruction caused by fires, inside and outside the home, can be catastrophic causing major damage, and in many cases, serious injury and death.
  • Fire can strike without warning, any place, and any time. According to the National Fire Protection Association, hundred of thousands of fires in the United States each year cause over 15,000 deaths and serious injuries. These numbers are astonishing.
  • When there is a fire, temperatures can rise to hundreds of degrees in just a few seconds. This makes escaping difficult, and if you don't move quickly enough to get away from the fire, your chances of getting seriously injured or dying increases drastically.
  • It has been determined that one breathe of intense heat can cause severe lung damage and may cause a person to become unconscious immediately.
  • Fire can move very fast and it can block your escape route in a matter of seconds. You can find yourself surrounded by the flames in all the confusion, panic and become disoriented.
  • Although fire does provide some light, when it is intense, it produces dark and heavy smoke, which darkens the air and makes it hard to see and breathe.
  • Smoke and fumes are just as deadly and may be a major cause of death during fires.
  • Most fire fatalities happen between the hours of 2 A.M. and 6 A.M. This is the time when most people are asleep and, unless there is a fire alarm going off; they may not wake up in time to make an escape. Many people have been found dead in their beds after a fire, which suggests that they may not have awakened.
  • Many people don't practice escape drills, have a plan in place, and don't keep flashlights near their beds or where they can easily put their hands on them.
  • During a fire, time is of the essence. A house fire can grow tremendously fast in just seconds, which leaves little time to think about what needs to be done. You must act immediately to get your family to safety.
  • Alarms, sprinkler systems, extinguishers, and smoke detectors have made a valuable impact in drastically reducing the number of injuries and deaths caused by fires. However, much more needs to be done to continue educating people about fires and how to prevent them in the first place.