The Glendale Fire Department recently joined forces with Luke Air Force Base to provide enhanced fire and advanced life safety protection for the base and West Glendale. The two agencies have begun a pilot program in which the Glendale Fire Department will provide a fire truck and two trained paramedics at Luke’s Fire Station 362 to provide advanced emergency medical services to the area. The program, which launched Dec. 6, is grant funded thanks to the Governor’s Office of Economic Recovery, Public Safety Stabilization Program.
Because Luke is located in a remote area, the nearest Glendale fire station was approximately seven miles away. Luke already had its own fire department, which would respond to calls in the area. However, by partnering with each other, the Glendale Fire Department will be able to provide extra firefighters and paramedics trained in advanced life support for enhanced protection and improved response time at Luke and West Glendale.
Glendale’s city council recently approved a proposal allowing for a partnership between the city and the military base. The program will allow Glendale firefighters, paramedics, and a fire truck at the Luke fire station for 40 hours a week each week, during peak time calls, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The pilot program will run for a six-month period. After the pilot program ends, the department will review the success rate and future costs to fund it.
Assistant Luke AFB Fire Chief Tony Robanza said the program really is a win-win for both parties involved.
“The Glendale Fire Department is allowing us to expose our base firefighters to advanced emergency medical services, which they otherwise would not be,” he said. “This will allow them to be trained in emergency medical services, which they may be able to use one day, should they wish to seek a career with the fire department down the road. In turn, we are able to offer our enhanced training and life-saving skills to residents in the area.”
Burdick said his department is happy to be able to use Luke’s facility so they will be closer to calls within a five-mile radius from the base.
“We will have a much quicker initial attack on a fire scene than we originally would have,” he said. “From a search and rescue standpoint that is critical.”
By KATHRYN STAFFORD Staff Writer