Automatic Aid reduces emergency response times. We now have one fire station to cover all of Carefree, but many of our homes are closer to fire stations in Cave Creek, Phoenix, or Scottsdale. Having the fastest responder dispatched to an emergency is obviously faster than having only one station to do it. And the idea that our engine will be gone all the time is just false. That didn’t happen in Cave Creek; when they joined Automatic Aid last year, they got far more responses entering town than leaving town. At least 300 hundred more according to their published response data. Under Automatic Aid, Phoenix would respond to Lowes and Carefree Foothills, Cave Creek would respond to Sentinel Rock, Scottsdale would respond to Rolling Hills and Heritage Assisted Living, and so on. These are all long responses from our Carefree fire station, so residents in those (and other) communities will receive faster responses while the Carefree station will see its average response times fall as well.
Two years ago Cave Creek, Scottsdale and other fire districts withdrew from their mutual aid relationships with Carefree. Our choice is between the slower response times we have had since our mutual aid system disintegrated, or the faster, more robust system that every valley municipality except Carefree will have transitioned to by the end of this year. The better system costs more. Carefree public safety can be as good as our neighboring towns with a new property tax, or we can remain less safe than we were two years ago without one.
That is the simple choice. Please join us in voting YES.
Anton and Katie Wilke