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Sun City fire board to consider aid to Cave Creek

Distance between communities creates obstacles

Posted 10/21/20

Providing fire service in Cave Creek does not appeal to Sun City Fire District board members.

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News

Sun City fire board to consider aid to Cave Creek

Distance between communities creates obstacles

Posted

Providing fire service in Cave Creek does not appeal to Sun City Fire District board members.

The panel will discuss a resolution about providing service to the North Valley town during its next regular meeting, 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27 at the fire district administrative office, 18602 N. 99th Ave.. Board members expressed their desire to opt out of such assistance in the future during an Oct. 20 workshop meeting.

The issue arose after Phoenix Fire Department officials sent a letter to Cave Creek leaders saying the department would no longer respond to fire or other emergency issues unless there was a known and immediate threat of life.

“If it is a non-emergency, the event would likely be over by the time we get there,” said Tim Wilmess, SCFD board member. “I would be OK if we bowed out.”

Dave Scott, SCFD board president, said he could not see an occasion where Sun City would respond to a Cave Creek call.

“Any response would come from the three agencies around the town,” he said.

Those include Daisy Mountain Fire District, Scottsdale Fire Department and Phoenix, which already indicated it would not respond.

Ron Deadman, Sun City fire chief, said department personnel and equipment would be sent to a department closer to Cave Creek to backfill assets sent to the town to respond.

“It would be much like the position the board took on the Wittmann area,” he said. “It would be more of a mutual aid situation rather than automatic aid.”

The Valley’s automatic aid consortium consists of 22 departments that agree to respond to incidents regardless of jurisdictional boundaries if they have the closest assets.

Phoenix fire officials took the opt out action following three multiple alarm incidents in Cave Creek in May. They claimed continued use of the automatic aid system as a defacto fire department for the town would have significant impacts on the Cave Creek community and the fire departments involved.

Rural Metro Fire Department continues to cover the Cave Creek area, but only on a subscriber basis. That means those not subscribed are left unprotected without automatic aid support.

Town officials contracted with Facets Consulting to develop some options, which were presented Aug. 10 during a town council meeting. But the council took no action and gave no direction to the town manger about moving forward.

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