The downturn in the Arizona economy has severely challenged the City of Glendale, your firefighters and every city employee. This prolonged economic slump has cost Glendale nearly $50 million (or about 25%) of its General Fund annual revenue. In response, Glendale’s city spending has been slashed dramatically. Already, 49 workers have been laid off nearly 300 full-time positions have been eliminated.
Amid these difficult circumstances, Glendale’s firefighters have never been busier. Today we’re the Valley’s busiest Fire Department in terms of calls per firefighter and calls per unit. In 2011, we handled nearly 35,000 emergency calls, while working with a shortage of 18 frontline firefighters and another dozen support staffers.
Of course, we understand the need to do more – more than ever before – with less in terms of taxpayer dollars and city resources.
We’ve stepped up and redoubled our commitment to Glendale because every firefighter takes seriously our shared responsibility to serve the city, its residents and its businesses.
Not only is our commitment apparent at work, but it remains in place even during our off time. Last year, the Glendale Firefighters local spent or donated more than $82,000 on a wide variety of charitable causes, including the United Way, the Muscular Dystrophy Association “Fill The Boot” campaign, the American Cancer Society Glendale Relay For Life and the 100 Club Charity Softball Game. Our members donated more than 3,000 volunteer hours.
We tell you this not to earn congratulations or to ask you for anything. We tell you this so you understand how deeply we believe in Glendale and how glad we are to be a part of such a first-class place, even in challenging times.
If Glendale needs it, we will do our level best to provide it.
Thank you for your time, your support and the chance to be a part of such an amazing City.