Love our firefighters

I love our Carefree Rural Metro firefighters! The ladies and gentlemen that make up our firefighting and emergency medical services team are wonderful and have been very responsive over the years. In a perfect world, we could keep them forever.

However, times have changed. While our Carefree station used to be supported by other Rural Metro stations throughout the valley and had agreements with neighboring communities, that is no longer the case. The Rural Metro station in Cave Creek has closed, the Rural Metro stations in Fountain Hills are converting to a municipal department in January, and Scottsdale has cancelled their mutual aid agreement with Rural Metro. Carefree is now on an island where our surrounding communities will no longer guarantee assistance in the case of an emergency in Carefree.

Because of the change in the landscape, we in Carefree are no longer as safe as we used to be. Response times have grown and backup to our station is at a minimum 25 minutes away. This is very disturbing to me. I want to know that if I call 911, I am going to get the absolute fastest response available. We in Carefree can get that fastest response if we vote YES in the upcoming election and join the rest of the Valley in Automatic Aid.

I have been told that if we join Automatic Aid, the Rural Metro firefighters will have preference in hiring to staff the new fire department. Seems to me to be the best of both worlds – joining Automatic Aid and keeping our wonderful firefighters. Please vote Yes in the upcoming election.

Sandy Hyde