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May 2023: Community Message from our Fire Chief

May 2023: Community Message from our Fire Chief

Welcome to May!  During March and April, Rural Metro Fire ran 1,126 emergency calls in San Tan Valley: 30 fires, 822 medical calls, 274 other responses (Accidents, trail rescues, false alarms, etc.). 

We have already had our first triple-digit heat for the year and, due to the abundance of moisture over the winter, we have an abundance of fuel creating dangerous fire conditions in the desert. 
To prepare your home in the event of a wildfire:

  1. Repair your roof and replace tiles or shingles and clean the gutters of debris to prevent embers from starting a fire.
  2. Move any flammable material at least 5' away from the house, including from under the deck.
  3. Clear vegetation away from propane tanks and prune trees 6-10' off the ground to prevent a ground fire from climbing the tree.
  4. Keep trees a minimum of 10' away from the house.
  5. Try to break up any vegetation into small clusters to avoid the potential of a fire moving from one area to another.

These are just a few recommendations. For a complete list, go to NFPA - Preparing homes for wildfire.  And as always, pay attention to the weather and make sure you have a water source to prevent the fire from spreading should it be necessary. 

I am also excited about offering Community Connect as an extension of the services provided to San Tan Valley by Rural Metro Fire. Community Connect is a free service where residents and business owners in the San Tan Valley can provide up-to-date information about their property so that, should Rural Metro Fire be called for an emergency to your home, we will know the priorities you may have for saving lives and property as well as any hazards there may be such as oxygen tanks, propane tanks, hazardous materials, etc.

As an example, many families have invalid or special needs family members whose locations can be provided to the fire department prior to arrival through Community Connect.  Some individuals collect classic cars or have items of sentimental value that they would like Rural Metro to protect when possible. 

Community Connect provides a confidential method of providing the information to the fire department for use only in the event of an emergency. This program is being used by fire departments around the country and helps us to better understand your needs, improve our effectiveness, and promote a culture of safety and preparedness. 

[Read more about Rural Metro Fire Introduces Community Connect Program to Strengthen Community Engagement and Safety]

Ultimately, this helps to build a stronger, more resilient San Tan Valley that is better prepared to face any emergency that may arise. For more information, go to Rural Metro Central Arizona Community Connect. Rural Metro Fire membership is not required for Community Connect and participation in Community Connect does not equate to a membership in Rural Metro Fire services. You can activate your Rural Metro Fire account at Rural Metro Fire Membership.

As always, be safe and call us if you need us!

Respectfully, 
Tim Soule, MS, EFO, CFO 
Fire Chief Rural Metro Fire San Tan Valley


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