Minutes Matter to Public Safety

Opposing sides of the property tax issue agree on one thing….minutes matter in a life threatening emergency.I contacted AZ Dept. of Health, Emergency Medical Services and explained the decision Carefree residents had to make on May 16 and what would they suggest we look at to help make an informed decision?

Without hesitation they said “run times” (measured by standard NFPA 1710). We should evaluate our town’s response times with the response times of surrounding towns on automatic aid.Carefree handpicked a Public Advisory Committee that spent a year analyzing this issue.

But not once in their final 40-page report have they compared emergency response times NFPA 1710 of Rural Metro with the surrounding automatic aid providers. How can you claim switching to automatic aid will improve our public safety when you have failed to analyze the most important metric? Automatic Aid partners are not just sitting around waiting for a Carefree resident to call – they are available to any town that needs them at any time. This is reflected in the NFPA 1710 response times. Carefree Rural Metro ranges from an average of 3-4 minutes; Scottsdale is 7 minutes and Phoenix is 9 minutes, both are Automatic Aid Partners.

There is a quote from the United States Fire Administrator, Dr. Lori Moore-Merrill that seems relevant to Carefree’s current situation:”Local government decision-makers often…make whirlwind decisions (that) can leave a community without enough resources to respond to emergency calls safely, efficiently and effectively. The effects of uninformed decision-making can have even greater impact on vulnerable populations including the elderly, young children and people with disabilities”.”It is imperative … political decision-makers understand how fire department response times affect their local community. The right data is key to building that understanding”.

Vote NO Property Tax. Keep Rural Metro and faster response times. Keep Carefree safe!

Stephanie Barbour