Emergency Medical Services

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is responsible for the primary training, continuing education, quality improvement and pre-hospital performance review for all Scottsdale Firefighters. All Scottsdale Firefighters are trained either as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) or Paramedics. Every Scottsdale Fire response unit has at least two Paramedics responding to emergencies. SFD operates under the support and guidance of a licensed physician as the City of Scottsdale Medical Director.

Maintaining quality care is a priority for SFD. Thousands of training hours are provided to staff every year by the EMS Division. A Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) review process verifies strengths and identifies areas for improvement. SFD has gone far beyond these “basic” services by continually moving the delivery of EMS service forward at a quick pace, leading the valley in many ways. Focus on patient care excellence has resulted in Scottsdale Fire Department being recognized as a Premier Level EMS Agency by the Arizona Department of Health Services.

By being a leader in EMS delivery, establishing relationships and protocols with hospitals and other Regional Fire and Ambulance Services, and never forgetting the mission statement “We Care for You,” SFD provides citizens and visitors of Scottsdale an advanced level of care that meets the changing needs of the healthcare system.


Scottsdale Fire has a rich history of service to a growing Scottsdale. Fire Operations manages the staff and response to daily emergencies in a diverse service area which includes densely populated residential, robust entertainment districts, major corporate and industrial providers, and the world-famous McDowell Sonoran Preserve. SFD provides a response and prevention solution for this diverse geography that encompasses 184 square miles.

Scottsdale Fire is a core member of the Phoenix Regional Dispatch and Deployment system commonly known as Automatic Aid. This system ensures that the closest available appropriate resource responds to calls for service regardless of municipal jurisdiction, and that an orderly and reliable incident command system is utilized.

It is also embedded in the diverse signature events throughout the city. Due to the large number of attendees and activities related to these events, the need for fire department services increases. The Operations Division manages these events by staffing to address medical issues, fire suppression and fire prevention, in addition to connecting with Police and other Public Safety partners throughout the Valley. SFD employs a variety of means to meet the special circumstances for events via bikes, brush trucks, and tankers.

The Operations Division is the front-line oversight of the hazards of our growing urban environment. The hard-working professionals of SFD are dedicated first and foremost to guarding the quality of life for the citizens and visitors of Scottsdale through multi-dimensional emergency response and the protection of life, property, and the environment. They are sworn to “care.”


The Scottsdale community and Scottsdale Fire Department are very proactive when it comes to activities like teaching life safety skills and requiring automatic, built-in fire protection measures. The overall goal is to protect community members and visitors, while at the same time working to reduce the number of emergency incidents and/or dramatically reducing the impact of those that do occur.

Scottsdale is a national leader in the use and requirement for using automatic sprinkler systems to protect Scottsdale's infrastructure and people. Starting January 1985, the local political leaders adopted a City Ordinance that required all new commercial, multi-family and single-family residential properties to have sprinkler protection. Since then, Scottsdale has more than doubled in size and the community has saved millions in potential fire loss and the lives of at least 13 people, directly because of this type of proactive built-in protection.

Among the responsibilities of the division is to evaluate fire code submittals and approve new development proposals for Scottsdale. Fire Plan Reviewers provide support to the development community, builders, and other city personnel when it comes to specific fire code/ordinance requirements.

The Prevention Division also employs fire marshals and inspectors who have the primary responsibility for fire code compliance inspections on new and existing occupancies. These activities include new construction inspections for final fire requirements, Certificates of Occupancy, fire protection system acceptance, fire permits, along with building and access evaluations. It also includes the scheduled follow-up inspections of existing higher risk community assets like schools, hospitals, nursing homes, assembly (night), resorts and hazardous materials facilities. Unlike the building inspection activities, once a commercial structure is approved for occupancy by the public, the City and SFD then has the responsibility to ensure it continues to operate in a safe manner.

The division, with additional support from other SFD personnel, consistently participates with other local, state and national organizations to evaluate, positively impact and develop proactive risk reduction programs. Representatives from around the country and world have regularly visited and contacted Scottsdale Fire to learn from its experience, as they relate to implementing effective community risk reduction measures in their own departments.


The Training Division delivers the education and skills development for members of the department, including basic fire skills, live fire, drivers training, OSHA, hazardous materials first responder, technical rescue, wildland, and command training components.

SFD's Training leadership is immersed in regional committees, holding multiple chairs and co-chair positions, and quickly becoming the leaders in instruction, and content experts pertaining to special operations.

Professional Standards

The Professional Standards Division consolidates the functions of personnel administration, internal compliance, performance benchmarking, policy maintenance, and safety and wellness.

The division views effective Labor/Management relationships with the Policy, Safety, and Wellness teams as key to successful outcomes. The division also coordinates with the City of Scottsdale Risk Management and Human Resources divisions. Professional Standards is also tasked with managing the automatic aid dispatch contract with the Phoenix Fire Department, and the interactive relationship with Scottsdale Police Department.

Resource Management

The Resource Management group provides equipment and facilities logistical support to the fire department. The group is responsible for the development and management of the budget for the procurement, maintenance, and repair of the firefighting equipment, buildings, and furnishings. They are also responsible for inventory management and distribution and provide oversight for capital improvement and renovation projects. Scottsdale Fire also employs IT Support personnel who are charged with managing the hardware and software for the department.

Specialty Units

Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting

Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) involves the response, hazard mitigation, evacuation and possible rescue of passengers and crew of an aircraft involved in an emergency, usually on airport grounds.

Due to the mass casualty potential of an aviation emergency, it is important to respond immediately with special emergency response equipment and personnel. Their arrival and initial mission is to secure the aircraft against all hazards, particularly fire, which increases the survivability of the passengers and crew on board. Thus, SFD staffs a foam truck for aviation customers 365 days a year.

Bike Team

The Bike Team is deployed for special events throughout the City of Scottsdale each year. The team's primary mission is to provide timely Advanced Life Support (ALS) care by reaching and accessing patients during specialized events within a dense area of population. Typically, these events will have decreased vehicle access that cause response time challenges when a daily staffed fire department response unit responds from the local fire station. The Team's secondary mission is to relieve the impact on daily staffed Medical and Fire delivery service that large events would otherwise draw from normal City of Scottsdale coverage. With the deployment of bike medics and EMTs, patient care can be rendered in a decreased amount of time while not effecting regular service delivery.

Hazardous Materials Response

Hazardous Materials incidents encompass a wide variety of potential situations including fires, spills, transportation accidents, chemical reactions, explosions, and similar events. Every incident presents the potential for exposure to hazardous materials; even the products of combustion of an ordinary fire may present severe hazards to personnel safety.

In the event of a hazardous situation, the HazMat team is dispatched to help evaluate, test, decontaminate and mitigate a wide range of hazards from unknown powders to broken gas lines. They also work closely with the police department and other federal agencies, such as the FBI and U.S. Postal Service.

Technical Rescue

The Technical Rescue Team (TRT) has grown and adapted to meet the needs for specialized rescue services for Scottsdale's residents and visitors. The team is responsible for safely performing rescues in difficult and often dangerous locations that fall outside of traditional fire department responses. These responses represent the High Risk/Low Frequency type incidents that require specialized equipment and training: High Angle, Swift Water, Confined Space, Structural Collapse, Trench and Tree Rescue.


Wildfire in the urban interface is recognized as one of the biggest hazards to the City of Scottsdale. With the combination of preserve land and wildland urban interface, almost two-thirds of Scottsdale has the potential to be exposed to wildfire.

Efforts to prevent wildland fires - or drastically reduce their impact - have taken place. Training of first responders in rapid and aggressive initial attack has kept brush fire starts to a minimal size. Programs such as Structural Triage, Brush Patrols, Hazardous Vegetation Reduction Programs and Firewise have helped educate residents to provide a defensible space around their homes.

Last Updated: Jul 16, 2024

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8401 E. Indian School Road Witzeman Public Safety Building Scottsdale, AZ 85251
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