Authority Overview

In February 2017, the Governing Boards of North County Fire & Medical District (formerly Fire District of Sun City West and Wittmann Fire District) and South County Fire & Medical District (formerly the Sun Lakes and Tonopah Fire Districts) approved the adoption of an Intergovernmental Agreement forming the first Fire & Medical Authority in Maricopa County, Arizona. The Arizona Fire & Medical Authority (AFMA) was established pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes governing a Joint Powers Authority (JPA). In 2023, Buckeye Valley Fire District became a third partner agency under the Authority. Under this model, the districts retain local control over their budgets and services provided while maintaining separate tax rates. However, the personnel, equipment, facilities and daily operations of the combined districts are governed by a JPA or Authority Governing Board. The Authority Governing Board is comprised of seven governing board members who are appointed from each partner agency in the JPA with the goal of providing equitable representation. Two board members are appointed by each partner agency with a seventh board member appointed by the AFMA Governing Board.

Fire districts in Arizona continue to struggle to recover from a historic recession. Making this recovery more difficult are extremely restricted funding sources for districts including arbitrary tax rate caps, budget growth ceilings, and the passage of Proposition 117 that confines growth in property valuation to 5% or less annually. These constraints, coupled with increasing operational costs, are having a damaging impact on emergency services throughout the state. Authority partner agencies are taking a proactive approach in recognizing the threats to their shrinking financial stability and have made a concerted effort to hold down property taxes. As a matter of practice, the Authority has continually utilized a long-term financial projection process in order to remain fiscally responsible.
Numerous fire service organizations have turned to a new shared services model. The term “shared services” is used in a broad sense to include any arrangement whereby the districts share in revenue, cost or operational responsibility. This business model enables resources to be leveraged across an entire organization resulting in lower costs.
Buckeye Valley Fire District, North County Fire & Medical District, and South County Fire & Medical District have a long history of cooperative efforts. The combination of the current fiscal environment coupled with the past collaborative efforts created a perfect window of opportunity to explore expanded shared services as all Districts endeavored to maintain financial stability and diminish the prospect of a workforce reduction which would seriously impact critical emergency services to their residents.
An analysis was conducted and indicated that decreased operating costs, increased cost savings, increased efficiency, and improved service delivery to taxpayers would be realized with the formation of a JPA. Most importantly, there was no change to District residents' daily emergency services. One of the primary benefits of the JPA is the reduction in administrative overhead costs. This administrative cost reduction provides both Districts the opportunity to reallocate funding to stabilize fire and EMS service delivery. It affords Authority partner agencies the ability to meet the goal of providing the highest level of caring and quality service to their residents.
AFMA provides all hazard emergency services, including 9-1-1 ambulance service from eight fire stations strategically located in the Phoenix metro-area’s west and east valley, ensuring a quick and immediate response to any situation. AFMA's service area currently includes the communities of: 
  • Arlington | Arco | Buckeye Valley | Camelback Garden Farms | Coldwater Ranch | Corte Bella | Cross River | Dos Rios | Hopeville | Liberty | Litchfield Farms | Palo Verde | Pinnacle Peak County Island | Rainbow Valley | Rancho Cabrillo | Rancho Silverado | Rio Sierra | Savannah | Sunora | Sun City West | Sundero | Sun Lakes | Sundero | Tonopah | Valencia | Wittmann | Other areas of Maricopa County


AFMA serves a population of approximately 90,000 residents with a compliment of full time and part-time fire and EMS personnel and associated administrative and support staff. AFMA also maintains over 50 active citizen volunteers (Fire Corps) in community support roles.


For more information regarding the Arizona Fire & Medical Authority or its partner agencies, please click on the links on the top right side of this web page. You may also contact the Authority's Administrative Offices at or by calling (623) 544-5400.


Dial 9-1-1

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