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Fire - About Us

History Automatic Aid | Annual Performance ReportServices | Divisions | Support Facilities | CFAI

Department History

The fire department’s long history began in 1912 with a small cadre of volunteer firefighters responding from two locations in downtown Glendale. “Apparatus” consisted of two wooden hose carts, each carrying 150 feet of hose. “Dispatching” was done via the ice company’s steam whistle.

antique fire engineThe City’s first official fire alarm system with a tower bell striker was erected in February of 1917 on a water tower located behind Sine Hardware. Later that same year Glendale purchased its very first motorized engine, a Peter Pirsh-Built Nash chemical and hose truck, with a top speed of 35 mph.

Fast forward 100 years. The department has grown along with the community. There are now nine fire stations serving an area of 60 square miles and a population of over 237,000. In addition to providing fire protection, the department has been delivering paramedic services since 1972, and hazardous materials and technical rescue operations since 1984. Crisis response was added in 2006.

Still, the department has remained true to its roots. The historic Sine Hardware building is now the fire department’s headquarters. The original fire alarm bell hangs in the bell tower at Fire Station 151, and the fully restored Nash fire truck is staged in the lobby of the training center.

Automatic Aid

An automatic aid agreement was negotiated in 1975 between the cities of Phoenix, Glendale and Tempe, to extend emergency response coverage beyond jurisdictional boundaries.  A regional dispatch agreement was added in 1982, establishing the Valley’s first central dispatch center. There are now 27 valley fire departments participating in the automatic aid system, in which the closest available unit responds, without regard to boundaries.

Annual Performance Report

The fire department issues an Annual Performance Report to provide a summary of the year’s services and accomplishments.  The report presents current information about the various functions in the department, and recognizes personnel who are new to the department, have performed outstanding service or achieved career milestones.

View our Performance Report (pdf)


The fire department maintains five core services established in Section 16-1 of the Municipal Code

  • Fire Prevention
  • Fire Suppression
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Special Operations (Hazardous Materials and Technical Rescue)
  • Crisis Response

These services work together providing the community with the means to prevent fires and injuries, control loss and injuries when emergencies occur, and receive compassionate assistance during the crisis recovery process.


View Organizational Chart

The department’s four major divisions operate under the authority of the Fire Chief, and with the leadership of a seasoned team of Chief Officers.

  • Operations

The Operations division encompasses the functions of Training, Special Operations and Safety, Fire Suppression, Shift Scheduling, and Human Services.  Most of the department’s personnel work in this division, in an emergency operations capacity.

  • Fire Prevention

The functions of Fire Prevention include Code Development, Fire Inspection, Fire Investigation, and construction Plans Examination. Fires deemed to be arson are referred to the Police Department for criminal investigation.

  • Emergency Management

The Emergency Management division is responsible for maintaining the City’s disaster plan, the City’s emergency operations center, and its interoperability with County, State and National emergency response agencies.  This division coordinates both disaster preparedness and recovery.

  • Support

Support services are those functions working behind the scenes that enable the delivery of services to the community.  Firefighter Health and Wellness, Resource Management, Medical Services, Planning, Finance and Administration are all part of this division.

Support Facilities

Fire Administration, Fire Prevention, Public Education, Community Services and the Labor offices are consolidated in the department headquarters located at 6829 N 58th Dr., in the historic Sine Hardware Building.

The Glendale Regional Public Safety Training Center, located at 11550 W Glendale Ave., is jointly-owned and funded by the partner agencies who participated in its construction. Operating costs are shared proportionately among the partners based upon their initial capital investment. The facility includes classrooms, a computer lab and lecture hall, a burn tower, a fire station, a driver training track and a variety of fire and extrication training props. The Glendale Health Center is also located at this facility, providing annual health screenings and physicals to public safety personnel.  

A contract with Midwestern University enables the department to deploy crisis or other response vehicles from base quarters located on Midwestern’s campus, located at 19389 N 59th Ave.  In exchange, university students receive triage time working on board the fire department vehicle stationed there.

The Support Services facility, located at 7505 N 55th Ave., houses the functions of equipment decontamination, repair, maintenance and testing, supplies delivery, etc.  Department personnel qualified to perform safety equipment maintenance have attended the manufacturer’s maintenance and repair certification classes and attend ongoing training.

Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI)

CFAI logoGlendale Fire Department first achieved accreditation in 2002, and is one of ten accredited fire departments in Arizona.  To be accredited, fire departments must be community driven, objective based, strategic minded, well organized, properly equipped, and properly staffed and trained.

Maintaining accredited status requires an annual, comprehensive and documented self-assessment of all fire department functions.  In addition, the department undergoes a thorough, on-site peer evaluation every five years to verify continued compliance.  The Peer team issues a report of their recommendations to CFAI.

View 2012 CFAI Re-Accreditation Report (pdf)



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