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Pinal Rural Fire District Becomes a Reality

Posted by pinal.rural on June 22, 2016 at 7:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Pinal Rural Fire Rescue & Medical District rushing to become fully operational after county approval

By James Hodl | Posted September 22nd, 2015 |

After having its petition approved by the Pinal County Board of Supervisors on Aug. 26, organizers of the new Pinal Rural Fire Rescue & Medical District (PRFR&M) have to hit the ground running to get the district fully operational as soon as possible.

The Board’s approval of the formation of PRFR&M was a formality as the organizers had met of the legal criteria. The District had its impact statement approved in early August 2014 and then within the one-year limit amassed the necessary signatures on a petition equal to 50% plus one of all homeowners with district boundaries that have are also valued at 50% plus $1 of all taxable property.

For the record, the PRFR&M petition secured 172 valid property owners (153 were needed) valued at $996,000 (with $975,000 required), according to Pinal County Treasurer Dodie Dolittle.

Boundaries of PRFR&M are the San Carlos Apache Tribe and Dudleyville on the north, the Pinal County border on the east, San Manuel on the south, and Oracle and Mammoth on the west. The district covers more than 100 square miles and includes Aravaipa Canyon, with State Route 77 the main road through the district.

PRFR&M succeeds Pinal Rural Fire & Rescue, a nonprofit volunteer fire department funded by subscribers, donations and grants that had served the area for several years. It differed from for-profit firms like Rural/Metro that sell its services only through paid subscriptions.

Board approval also made PRFR&M a special taxing district, enabling the district to fund its operations from a share of the Arizona Fire District Assistance Tax and from local property taxes. According to Turcotte, residents of the district would on average pay an additional $31 a year in property tax for fire suppression and first responder medical emergency services.

Governing the district will be an elected board of directors, thus giving citizens a voice in how the district is run.

When fully organized, PRFE&M will have full-time firemen working under Chief Rod Prast, along with reserve firemen working part-time, and volunteer firefighters providing backup support when bigger emergencies occur, said Steve Turcotte, chairman of the district’s organizing committee.

“Right now, PRFR&M is in the organizational stage, training additional employees and acquiring additional equipment,” said Turcotte, who also is a retired Rear Admiral of the U.S. Navy and owner of a local ranch.

“Based on past experience as a volunteer subscription firefighting agency, PRFR&M expects its mission to break down as 80% medical-related calls, 10% fighting wildfires, 5% structural fires, and 5% miscellaneous calls from citizens smelling gas or finding a rattlesnake on their property,” he noted.

“For this reason, all PRFR&M firefighters will have paramedic training so they can provide treatment for lesser medical problems or stabilize a person until an ambulance can be brought to the location,” Turcotte added.

This makes the district the only 24/7 fire-based paramedic service between Golder Ranch and Globe. Only the people with the most serious injuries and medical problems will be transported to hospitals in ambulances from Kearny Ambulance or Southwest Ambulance located at the fringe of the district.

PRFR&M also has plans to acquire additional equipment beyond its current two vehicles.

“The district has a steep and varied terrain that precludes getting any of those sleek and long hook-and-ladder trucks long made by companies like American LaFrance that do duty in urbans areas and as seen in movies and on TV,” said Chief Prast. “We will get shorter more agile vehicles geared for going down inclines into canyons or up into mountainous areas.”

The district is working with the Phoenix Fire Department and the State of Arizona to acquire a fire tanker than can hold 3,000 gallons of water. This will enable PRFR&M firefighters to put out blazes where there are no hydrants – which is the case in most of the district’s territory. Also on the list in a device that when dropped into a body of water like Copper Creek can pump out water into hose at the necessary pressure.

An EMT vehicles equipped with first aid equipment, oxygen tanks and an EKG device to enable paramedic firefighters to provide the best medical on-site medical care possible.

To save taxpayers funds, PRFR&M officials are looking into grant programs to acquire the additional trucks and equipment at the lowest possible cost, just as the predecessor volunteer subscriber service did.

As the only current PRFR&M fire station is located on Route 77 just north of Mammoth, the district plans to build a second station on the other side of Route 77 nearer to Aravaipa Canyon.

Beyond putting out fires and tending to the injured, PRFR&M will provide other services.

PRFR&M will work with the National Resource Conservation Service and the Arizona Forestry Service to prevent wildfires such as that which scorched a broad area near Kearny earlier this year. This will include clearing out vegetation that can fuel large roaming conflagrations and build in fire breaks ahead of time.

As an extension of its medical mission, PRFR&M will offer blood pressure checks and other basic medical services to senior citizens so they don’t have to travel to distant hospitals for checkups. The district has a Home Alone service where district employees will drop by to check on the health of seniors living by themselves. And the district will offer basic first aid courses including how to perform CPR free to local residents.

Current plans call for PRFR&M to be fully operational by Jan. 1, 2016, and able to complete all organizational upgrades by summer 2017.

In the interim, district employees plan to visit every household in the area to introduce the rural fire and medical service and its programs, Turcotte said.

“What the district is primarily providing is shortening the reaction time for fighting fires and medical emergencies in a heavily rural area outside of the towns of southeastern Pinal County. We can get out sooner than the fire departments of surrounding municipalities,” he explained.

PRFR&M is the 13th fire district to be created in Pinal County and the first to be created since Thunderbird Farms south of Maricopa in 2002.

 

Mutual Aid Partner List

Posted by pinal.rural on June 22, 2016 at 4:50 PM Comments comments (0)

For those people who don't know, or are unaware of the Pinal County Mutual Aid Partner List; I have attached the signators and dates signed. Chief Rod Prast

Appendix A

 

 

Signed Mutual Aid Partnerships To Date

 

 

Arizona City Fire District April 1993

Avra Valley Fire District February 2003

Casa Grande Fire Department December 1991

Coolidge Fire Department December 1991

Eloy Fire District December 1991

Florence Fire Department December 2002

Golder Ranch Fire District February 2003

Hayden Fire Department May 2005

Kearny Fire Department March 2003

Mammoth Fire District November 2003

Maricopa Fire Department November 2009

Oracle Fire District December 2003

Pinal Rural Fire Rescue January 2012

Queen Valley Fire District September 2003

Regional Fire-Rescue March 2003

Rural/Metro Fire Department April 2005

San Manuel Fire District December 2003

Stanfield Fire District 2003

Superior Fire Department 2004

Superstition Fire & Medical District August 2003 (Formerly Apache Junction FD)

Winkleman Fire Department December 2005

 



Impact Statement Approved by the Pinal County Board of Supervisors

Posted by pinal.rural on August 13, 2014 at 8:20 PM Comments comments (0)

We are proud to announce, that by a majority vote, the Pinal County Board of Supervisors has appreciated the definitive need for improving emergency services here in the Copper Corridor, and on August 6th approved the Impact Statement to form the Pinal Rural Fire Rescue and Medical District (PRFR&M).

Pinal Rural Fire & Rescue has always been dedicated to improving the health, welfare, comfort and convenience of the residents in our 911 service area since we formed in 2011. Many residents have already been recipients of these services and have expressed their many thanks. PRFR&M will continue to build upon existing services to become a state of the art fire rescue and medical service organization.

Formation of the fire district is the next step in the process to continue to grow and enhance the services we will be able to provide to the residents in the proposed district. Not only will it give PRFR&M a known budget for its capital plans, but will also allow for the hiring of Firefighter I/II EMTs and Paramedics. This will allow PRFR&M to continue its distinction of being the only fire-based Paramedic level of service 24/7 in the Copper Corridor.

This Friday evening we will be offering a free BBQ dinner at the PRFR&M’s Fire Station 625 on AZ 77 in Mammoth for the residents of the future district. There will be information available about the transition, a tour of our equipment, as well as petitions to sign.

 

Fire District Formation Progress

Posted by pinal.rural on June 25, 2014 at 5:45 PM Comments comments (0)

At the May 28th, 2014 Regular Meeting of the Pinal County Board of Supervisors it was determined that the Hearing required by state law for the determination as to whether Pianl Rural Fire Rescue and Medical District meets the requirements of enhancing the public health, comfort, convenience, necessity or welfare shall be approved to obtain signatures. The hearing will be held on August 6th, 2014 in the Board of Supervisor's Hearing Room at the county courthouse in Florence at 9:30 a.m.

Arizona Revised Statutes Title 48-261(A)(4) states:

4. At the hearing called pursuant to paragraph 2 of this subsection, the board of supervisors shall hear those who appear for and against the proposed district and shall determine whether the creation of the district will promote public health, comfort, convenience, necessity or welfare. If the board of supervisors determines that the public health, comfort, convenience, necessity or welfare will be promoted, it shall approve the district impact statement and authorize the persons proposing the district to circulate petitions as provided in this subsection.

The Impact Statement includes all the reuired information including a map of the proposed district and a list of the property owners can be found at the following web address:

http://pinalcountyaz.gov/bos/cob/Documents/Pinal%20Rural%20Fire%20Rescue%20and%20Medical%20District%20Impact%20Statement.pdf

If any of the property owners of the proposed fire district have questions feel free to call us at (520) 465-5300

Fire District Impact Statement Filed with Pinal County

Posted by pinal.rural on June 2, 2014 at 8:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Pinal Rural Fire & Rescue is about to become Pinal Rural Fire Rescue & Medical District (PRFRMD).We have filed the Impact Statement to the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors which is the first step in the process to transition from a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit corporation to a Special Tax District. The benefits are many!

CURRENTLY

PRF&R IS A SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE:

ALL SERVICES ARE FREE TO SUBSCRIBERS

SERVICE BILLING TO ALL OTHERS FOR ANY FIRE SERVICE RESPONSES – A STRUCTURE FIRE COULD COST IN EXCESS OF $5,000.00

PRF&R NEVER CHARGES FOR EMS RESPONSES

PRF&R IS THE ONLY PARAMEDIC FIRE-BASED SERVICE IN THE REGION

PRF&R STAFFS PARAMEDIC LEVEL SERVICE 24/7/365

PRF&R FRONT LINE VOLUNTEERS ARE STATE CERTIFIED FIREFIGHTER I/II EMTS OR FIREFIGHTER I/II PARAMEDICS

WHATS THE BENEFITS?

DEDICATED SERVICE BY A PERMANENT FIRE DISTRICT RATHER THAN THE WHIMSY OF THE ECONOMY ON A NONPROFIT SERVICE – ALLOWS MORE ACTIVE RECRUITING FOR STAFFING

AVOIDS CHALLENGES TO CAPITAL PLANNING DUE TO FICKLE  SUBSCRIPTION RETURNS AFFECTING BUDGET PLANNING

CAPITAL PLANNING IS BASED ON A KNOWN BUDGET ANNUALLY AND FOR SEVERAL YEARS AHEAD

ABILITY TO HIRE SHIFT VOLUNTEERS WITH ADDED REVENUES

FAIR REPRESENTATION OF FEES BY ALL INSTEAD OF SOME BY SUBSCRIPTION AND EXCESSIVE FINANCIAL BURDEN ON OTHERS

HAS A POSITIVE IMPACT ON FIRE INSURANCE FEES - MANY CANNOT GET FIRE INSURANCE

THOSE THAT CAN GET FIRE INSURANCE WILL MOST LIKELY SEE A SIGNIFICANT DECREASE IN COSTS DUE TO TAX DISTRICT STATUS

BOARD MEMBERS ARE ELECTED FROM PROPERTY OWNERS IN THE DISTRICT

TAX IS ONLY $3.00 PER $100 OF ASSESSED VALUE AS A SECONDARY TAX

THERE IS LITTLE DIFFERENCE IN THE TAX FEE COMPARED TO CURRENT SUBSCRIPTION FEES

IT IS YOUR DISTRICT!

Stay tuned for more news as we progress through the process....

 

PRFR Offering Home Alone Safe Alone Pendants Through TRIAD

Posted by pinal.rural on April 13, 2013 at 9:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Deanna Paine, a Paramedic with PRFR has been trained to install and service Home Alone Safe Alone equipment in their service area. This is a free service designed to provide additional security for the elderly in our community. A unit is set up in the home through the phone line. A pendant, programmed to this unit is worn around the participant's neck. If the person should fall or need help of any kind, he/she would press the button on the pendant. This action would set off an alarm and call the PCSO who would respond quickly and alert PRFR also. If you need this set up in your home, free of charge, just contact us at 520-465-3393.

Brand New Extrication & SCBA Equipment Arrived

Posted by pinal.rural on April 13, 2013 at 9:15 PM Comments comments (0)

It's been pretty rough, at times, being able to afford repairs when trucks break down or equipment breaks, but overall, the Lord has given us many blessings to sustain PRFR and keep it going. Recently, so many wonderful things have happened simultaneously that it's hard to recount them all! We received two Walmart grants, we were the recepient of a huge FEMA grant worth $140,000, Corona de Tucson Fire Department donated a 1984 Medium Duty Rescue to us, Arizona fire departments have donated bunker gear, and numerous graduates from fire academies have signed up with PRFR! A kind neighbor has donated 3 acres of land for us to make into an LZ. He also has been very generous helping us with supplies needed to keep going. Another kind couple in San Manuel donated a 5th Wheel to us to house visiting volunteer firefighters. Our volunteers have been working overtime to remodel our fire station and service our trucks. We are so thankful for and to all!

It was so exciting to see most of the products purchased with the FEMA grant come in today! The rest will be delivered next week. PRFR volunteers were trained on brand new SCBA and extrication gear. Our old gear will be donated to needy fire departments. Please look at the pictures posted on the last page of this website to see all the fun we had!

Report of First Fire Conquered by PRFR

Posted by pinal.rural on April 23, 2012 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)

On April 11, 2012, The San Manuel Miner published a great story about the first fire PRFR responded to. Please visit  http://issuu.com/CopperArea/docs/4_11_12-san-manuel-miner/1  for the entire account.

AED Donation Made to PRFR!

Posted by pinal.rural on April 21, 2012 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (1)

The "Borrow An AED Program", a part of the AEDPetitionNOW organization is being implemented by Pinal Rural Fire Rescue! A representative from Cardiac Science, John Rittenburg, will be donating a free AED and equipment to PRFR on May 2, 2012. We will be able to loan the AED out to any community or school event so our youth and public will be protected in case of sudden cardiac arrest.

PRFR to Start Explorer Program for Youth

Posted by pinal.rural on April 20, 2012 at 1:15 PM Comments comments (0)

PRFR has started the ball rolling to begin the Fire Service Exploring Program for any youth ages 14 - 20 who are interested in Fire/EMS careers. This is an excellent program which will give youth positive goals and guidance. It's a very active program and will give young people something productive to do in rural areas. More information can be found on the following website: http://exploring.learningforlife.org/services/career-exploring/fire-service/


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