Since the Scottsdale Fire Department’s inception in calendar year 2005, the essential public safety enterprise has participated in the Regional Metropolitan Phoenix Fire Service Automatic Aid System.
At the beginning of cross-department communication, which began to occur in the mid-1970s, Scottsdale fire officials say the program is the most cost-effective use of fire department apparatus.
Scottsdale City Council recently approved an intergovernmental agreement with the automatic aid system, which will allow the City of Scottsdale to connect to the regional aid dispatch system.
The unanimous vote on consent came during the May 19 City Council meeting at City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd.
“In 2004, the City of Scottsdale entered into an agreement with the Phoenix regional dispatch and deployment system commonly know as automatic aid,” said Scottsdale Fire Chief Tom Shannon in his May 19 report to City Council. “The system was developed and designed to assure that the closest appropriate fire department resource was deployed to emergencies within the participating jurisdiction's boundaries.”
According to the Arizona Fire & Medical Authority the regional aid system is designed to reduce pressures of local resources, reduce response times, and improve general fire safety of the geographical area. The automatic aid system provides the customer --- in this case, the City of Scottsdale --- with the fastest response to their emergency and has been in place throughout the Valley for over 30 years, officials say.
“Agreements for automatic assistance in fire protection and response to other emergencies have existed between specific municipalities and governmental jurisdictions since 1976 to provide the highest level of services in conjunction with the most effective use of local fire department resources working collaboratively through intergovernmental cooperation,” Chief Shannon said in his report to City Council.
Mr. Shannon contends the distribution of resources is in an equitable manner.
“Automatic aid system participants agree to dispatch their respective assigned fire department units on an automatic basis,” he explained.
“It is assured that all fire stations within a participating jurisdiction are included in the resource pool for the system. A computer-aided dispatch and automatic vehicle locator system automatically determine the closest available, most appropriate unit(s) regardless of jurisdictional boundaries. Each jurisdiction agrees that such unit(s) will respond.”
According to the agreement, Scottsdale’s participation in the regional system will be for the next five years with anticipated renewals, as history dictates.
Scottsdale Fire Department officials report the agreement addresses critical issues: