Regional Automatic Aid System

When an emergency occurs, firefighters in the Valley (Phoenix Metropolitan Area) that are closest to the emergency respond regardless of jurisdictional boundaries. In many communities in the United States, jurisdictional lines prevent firefighters from another city or district who are closer to an emergency from responding to that emergency. In the Phoenix Metropolitan area, the closest firefighters are dispatched, regardless of jurisdictional considerations. The Automatic Aid system utilized in the Valley provides the community and the customer with a high level of service and high levels of effectiveness.
The delivery of fire protection, special operations, and emergency medical services in the Valley is a model for intergovernmental cooperation, efficiency, and customer service. Automatic Aid, the system that provides the customer with the fastest response to their emergency, has been working daily in the Valley for over 30 years. Automatic Aid is considered the “Gold Standard” of emergency service delivery systems.
Automatic Aid Benefits
  • Automatic Aid reduces the number of fire stations that are needed to serve the community as a whole. Through coordinated planning, fire stations are located and built in a way that serves the entire community, not just the citizens of one city or fire district.
  • Coordinated training and procedures help firefighters do their jobs better. All Valley firefighters receive the same basic training and use the same daily procedures to respond to emergencies. Chiefs from all Valley fire departments receive the same training and command incidents according to the same procedures.
  • Firefighters work together every day on routine emergencies so that they work better together during larger emergencies. Firefighters are accustomed to working together with firefighters from other communities. This familiarity helps when larger emergencies occur.
  • Automatic Aid ensures that all fire department units have similar capabilities. In order to be a member of the Automatic Aid System, fire departments are required to equip and staff their fire trucks in a standard way. This assures that all firefighters have similar equipment and a similar number of firefighters on all fire trucks. The number of firefighters on a fire truck translates to the number and types of work that can be performed.
  • Support functions such as dispatch and communications are coordinated. The fire service in the Valley utilizes two dispatch centers for almost all of the communities in the Valley, rather than having to maintain and operate a communications center for each fire department. This service eliminates duplication, increases efficiency, and saves money.
  • Joint purchasing leads to savings. The Automatic Aid system uses its purchasing power to buy items such as protective clothing for firefighters. Most Valley firefighters use the same protective clothing. Everyone pays a lower price since such a large quantity of the equipment is purchased at a time at competitive prices from the manufacturers.  
  • Specialized firefighting and rescue teams are shared. No single community can afford to keep enough firefighters on hand to respond to every specialized emergency. Incidents such as leaks of hazardous materials and building collapses occur less often than fires. The fire departments in the Automatic Aid System work together to respond to specialized emergencies. This cooperation saves money and helps firefighters work more efficiently and safely at these unusual incidents.
  • Non-emergency resources such as training facilities, health centers, and other support systems may be shared to reduce expense and standardize programs.
The protection of life and property has been the mission of the Valley’s fire service since its inception. Fire stations are strategically located across geographic regions, commensurate with population densities and workload needs. This all-hazard response infrastructure meets the routine and catastrophic emergency needs of Valley communities, regardless of the nature of the emergency. The community-based fire station, with its readily available trained personnel 24 hours a day is a blend of the traditional public safety concepts and duties of the fire service with the potential for the most rapid delivery of our emergency response resources. This pivotal public safety service emphasizes the safety of responders, competent and compassionate workers, and cost-effective operations using cross-trained/multi-role firefighters. Firefighters are all-hazards responders, prepared to handle any situation that may arise.
The Automatic Aid System is a time tested deployment system that provides the closest most appropriate fire service resource regardless of jurisdictional boundaries. Sharing these resources allows Valley communities to be fiscally responsible, while still providing excellent service to the community.
The information above was provided by the Central Arizona Life Safety System Response Council (CALSSRC), which is comprised of chiefs from Valley fire departments/districts that participate in the Automatic Aid System. The Automatic Aid System is a consortium of governmental fire departments/districts joined by an inter-governmental agreement (IGA) wherein the participants agree to operationally act as one entity for the purpose of improved fire/rescue/emergency medical services. 

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For All Emergencies
Official website for the Arizona Fire & Medical Authority, the Buckeye Valley Fire District, the North County Fire & Medical District, and the South County Fire & Medical District.
Phone: (623) 544-5400 | Email:
18818 N. Spanish Garden Drive, Sun City West, Arizona 85375