Baths salts are a serious problem across the United States, and Tempe is no exception. While some of the chemicals making up bath salts can be technically legal, the effects can be deadly. Baths salts are made up of beta-keto amphetamines, synthetic chemicals that mimic cathinone in the Khat plant. These are very powerful stimulants which cause rapid metabolism and dangerously high body temperatures of 107 degrees. Under the influence of bath salts, the body’s metabolism can be so extreme as to render the patient incapable of taking in enough oxygen to prevent cellular suffocation resulting in potentially fatal heart arrhythmias. Signs of a person on bath salts include ranting, removal of clothing and delirium. This is considered a medical emergency and people should call 9-1-1, when encountering a person on bath salts.
Does the Fire, Medical, Rescue Department install or assist with car seats?
Tempe Fire, Medical, Rescue Department personnel are available Monday through Friday to inspect your car seat to make sure it's properly installed. To make an appointment to get a car seat checked for free, contact Monique Bonfiglio or call (480) 858-7230.
Are grills allowed to be used on apartment balconies?
The Uniform Fire Code, adopted by the City of Tempe, prohibits grilling on patios and balconies in multi-family complexes. Learn more on our cooking safety page.
How do I get a job with the Tempe Fire, Medical, Rescue Department?
Selection Process Overview: Qualified applicants will be invited to participate in a written examination. Applicants who pass the written exam become eligible for a first level interview. Applicants who are selected will go on for a second level interview. After the second level interview, applicants who are selected will be scheduled for a candidate physical ability test. Applicants who pass the CPAT are placed on an eligibility list. As openings occur, firefighter recruits musts complete a 12 week academy and are then placed in the field as probationary firefighters for a period of 12 months. Successful completion of all phases of the selection process does NOT automatically guarantee a position with the City of Tempe Fire, Medical and Rescue Department. Position vacancies, academy class size and time constraints dictate if a candidate will be hired.
How is the Tempe Fire, Medical, Rescue Department Organized?
Fire, Medical, Rescue Department services include emergency medical, fire suppression, hazardous materials response, fire prevention, public education and organization-wide disaster preparedness activities. Tempe has six fire stations housing eight engine companies, two ladder companies, one scene support and one battalion chief. Each of the ladder and engine companies are staffed around the clock with four firefighters. All firefighters are certified emergency medical technicians and hazardous materials "first responders." Visit our "How we are organized" web page.
Who should I call if I have bees in my yard or house?
DO NOT call the fire department to remove bee colonies or hives. If you want bees removed, look in the yellow pages under "bee removal" or "beekeepers." Only call the Fire, Medical, Rescue Department if it's a medical emergency.
What are the fuel dispensing and propane exchange permit fees?
Fuel Dispensing and Propane Exchange Permit Fees: The Tempe Fire Department conducts annual fuel dispensing and propane exchange inspections at all applicable businesses within Tempe. The inspection is a requirement to obtain annual permits, which allows the place of business to dispense fuel and/or exchange propane within the City of Tempe. The annual fee for the 2012 fuel dispensing permit is $100 and the annual fee for the propane exchange permit is $75. Annual fuel dispensing and propane exchange permits are mandatory as approved by the Tempe City Council in 2009. Dispensing fuel or propane exchanges without a permit is prohibited. Failure to obtain annual permits may result in a citation or legal action. Violation of the Tempe City code, Section 14-25, is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $2,500 or imprisonment not exceeding ninety days, or both. For more information, call Fire Prevention at 480-858-7230.
Do you have staff that will come out and talk to neighborhood or community groups?
Yes. The Tempe Fire Department is committed to providing the community with life safety education by teaching prevention in order to reduce life and property loss in the community. Our Education Specialists are available to make presentations to schools, organizations or businesses. Below are some of the programs that are provided to the community.
Fall and Fire Safety for our Older Adult Population
Health and Safety Fairs
Car Seat Checks
Where can I get a free blood pressure reading?
Tempe Fire Department personnel are available seven days a week to take blood pressure readings for free. Residents can stop by any of the Tempe fire stations listed below from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• Station 1, 1450 E. Apache Boulevard
• Station 2, 3025 S. Hardy Drive
• Station 3, 5440 S. McClintock Drive
• Station 4, 300 E. Elliot Road
• Station 5, 723 E. Curry Road
• Station 6, 655 S. Ash Avenue
Residents should ring the doorbell located near the main entrance of the fire station. No appointment is necessary. There will be times when firefighters will be out of the station responding to emergency calls. If the crew is away from the station, check back at a later time or try another station.
Does the Fire, Medical, Rescue Department have a disaster supply kit checklist?
How do I volunteer to help the Fire, Medical, Rescue Department?
Local governments prepare for emergencies. However, there are emergency situations that can overwhelm the Fire, Medical, Rescue Department’s immediate response capability. While adjacent jurisdictions, State and Federal resources can be activated, there may be a delay in them getting to those who need it. The primary reason for Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training is to give people the decision-making and physical skills to offer immediate assistance to the community. While people will respond to others in need without the training, the goal of the CERT program is to help them do so effectively without placing themselves in unnecessary danger. If a disastrous event overwhelms or delays the Fire Department, CERT members can assist others by applying the basic response tools that they learned during training. These skills can help save and sustain lives following a disaster until help arrives. For the more information call 480-858-7230.
To schedule a tour of any of our fire stations or facilities, please call one of our Education Specialists at 480-858-7230. Please have the following information available before calling:
• The date and time you would like to visit the station/facility.
• Which station/facility you would like to visit.
• Number of people and their ages.
We never take a truck out of service for tours so if you arrive at the station and there is no one there, it is because they have been called to an emergency. Or during your tour, if they get a call, they will ask you to leave before the tour is over. Please remember our first priority is the assist the residents of our community in emergency situations.
What fireworks are legal in Tempe?
All fireworks except sparklers and confetti poppers are illegal in the Tempe.
New construction plans review and inspections are conducted by two of our Senior Fire Inspectors, they are located at the Building Safety Division of the Community Services Department, which is located at the Tempe City Hall, East Garden Level, 31 East Fifth Street. Inspections related to fire protection include:
• Automatic Fire Extinguishing Systems (AFES), or fire sprinklers, including Fire Pumps and Standpipes
• Fire Alarm Systems
• Occupancy classifications for the use or storage of Hazardous Materials
• Installation or Removal of Tanks for liquid motor fuels and LPG, LNG, CNG
• High-Piled Combustible Storage Occupancies
• Kitchen Hood Fire Protection Systems
• Paint Spray Booths and associated systems
• Special Agent Fire Protection Systems
• Compressed Gas or Medical Gas Systems
The Fire Prevention Division manages the Company Inspection Program, which consists of assigning each engine and ladder companies with a list of occupancies in their management district to inspect. These occupancies consist of commercial buildings, strip malls and office complexes and are inspected on a quarterly basis. We also conduct inspections on those business that require a state or city license like; day care centers, group homes, residential care facilities, bars, taverns and restaurants. Restaurants and bars are also visited monthly by a team of Fire Inspectors on routine night inspections. Occupancy loads, and proper exiting are of primary concern during these inspections.
Infant safe haven laws were enacted as an incentive for mothers to have a place where they can safely relinquish their babies. Safe haven laws allow the parent to remain anonymous and to be shielded from prosecution for abandonment in exchange for surrendering the baby to a safe haven. Parents can surrender their baby, up to 3 days old, with no questions asked. In order to be protected under the safe haven law you must physically hand your baby to a member of a safe haven facility.
Safe havens in Tempe include Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital located at 1500 S. Mill Avenue or any of the Tempe fire stations listed below.
• Station 1, 1450 E. Apache Blvd.
• Station 2, 3025 S. Hardy Drive
• Station 3, 5440 S. McClintock Drive
• Station 4, 300 E. Elliot Road
• Station 5, 723 E. Curry Road
• Station 6, 655 S. Ash Ave.
If there is no one at the fire station, it is important to use the red emergency phone located outside the station to call 911. Let the operator know that you are requesting to leave your baby at the safe haven at the fire station you are calling from and that no one is there. The 911 operator will notify a fire crew in the area to return to the station so that you can physically hand the baby to them. You can remain anonymous and no questions will be asked.
How do I get a tent or canopy permit?
Tents and temporary structures having an area in excess of 400 square feet and canopies in excess of 900 square feet must meet the requirements of Chapter 24 of the 2006 International Fire Code and require approval from the Fire Prevention Office. If you wish to erect a tent or canopy, complete the Tent/Canopy Permit online form and submit it along with a clean, accurate, detailed site plan (plans which are not legible will be rejected) to email@example.com at least 10 working days before the tent/canopy is to be erected. Permit fees are: $350 for first tent/canopy; $250 for each additional tent/canopy.
How do I get help for hoarding?
Tempe firefighters have encountered many cases of hoarding. It’s a dangerous trend that risks the lives of firefighters and residents alike. According to Hartford Hospital, compulsive hoarding may affect up to two million people in the United States. Obsessive hoarding can cost thousands of dollars and isolate people from their friends and family.
People with friends or loved ones who may have a problem with hoarding can seek help from the Arizona Hoarding Task Force at www.azhoarding.com. Arizona Hoarding Task Force provides guidance in finding support groups and personal organization services. Tempe residents also can find help through CARE 7 – City of Tempe Crisis Response Team at 480-350-8004 or www.tempe.gov/care7.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless, deadly gas. It can kill you before you know it because you can't see it, taste it or smell it. When CO is breathed in by an individual, it accumulates in the blood and forms a toxic compound known as carboxyhemoglobin (COHb). Hemoglobin carries oxygen in the bloodstream to cells and tissues. Carbon monoxide attaches itself to hemoglobin and displaces the oxygen that the body organs need.
Carboxyhemoglobin can cause headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizzy spells, confusion and irritability. Later stages of CO poisoning can cause vomiting, loss of consciousness and eventually brain damage or death. Appliances such as furnaces, space heaters, clothes dryers, ranges, ovens, water heaters, charcoal grills, fireplaces and wood burning stoves produce CO. Carbon monoxide usually is vented to the outside if appliances function correctly and the home is vented properly. Problems occur when the furnace heat exchanger crack or vents and chimneys become blocked.
The Tempe Fire Department recommends installing at least one carbon monoxide detector with an audible alarm near the bedrooms. If a home has more than one story, a detector should be placed on each story.
There are several name brands available including Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and Factory Mutual (FM). Smoke alarms are available for the hearing impaired and can be purchased through your local fire equipment companies. It's important that you follow the manufacturer's recommendations for installation, testing and maintenance. Visit our smoke alarm web page.
How often should a fire extinguisher be replaced/serviced?
Business If an extinguisher is brand new, it needs to be visually checked monthly by the business owner. If the owner does not want to take on that responsibility, they need to have it serviced annually. Every 6 years a full servicing should be done, and every 12 years a hydrostatic test should be done. It is often a better deal to buy a new extinguisher at the 6 and 12 year marks.
Residential There are no requirements for personal residences, but it is recommended that they be visually checked every year to make sure there are no cracks or rust and to make sure the pin is still in the green. After 10 years or so the extinguisher should be replaced.
Tempe participates in an automatic aid system with 26 other fire departments in the Phoenix area. Automatic aid means the closest unit is dispatched using GPS to an emergency regardless of jurisdiction. For example, if a fire is on the Tempe/Mesa border and Tempe Fire, Medical, Rescue is closer to the incident than Mesa, Tempe will respond. This decreases response times, provides the department with unlimited resources, and is a more efficient and effective use of resources throughout the Phoenix area.
Is the Tempe Fire, Medical, Rescue Department internationally accredited?
Yes. The Tempe Fire, Medical, Rescue Department was the first Internationally Accredited Department in the nation, and we are fully accredited through the Commission on Fire Accreditation International. The Tempe Fire, Medical and Rescue Department has an ISO rating of 2. Tempe is one of 585 in the country to achieve this high rating and has maintained this rating since 1982, which speaks to the Department’s fire suppression capabilities.
How do I report an emergency?
9-1-1 is the phone number to call to report a fire, police or medical emergency. 9-1-1 is initially answered by the Tempe Police Department, regardless of the emergency you are reporting. However, if you are reporting a fire or medical emergency, you will immediately be connected to a Fire, Medical, Rescue Department.
What devices are available to help people with disabilities escape a fire?
Secure Lockbox Program - The Lockbox Program is designed to allow fire and emergency personnel access into your home in an emergency situation where the likelihood of forced entry is likely. The Lockbox Program is primarily for seniors who live alone, have a physical disability or a medical condition. Your personal information and access instructions are linked to each lockbox stored in the Fire, Medical, Rescue Department's database. This allows for storage of confidential information and creates a systematic emergency response. Lockbox combinations are confidential. Residents are asked to place a house key in the lockbox so that emergency personnel can easily access the home. This program is free to qualifying residents.
The Vial of Life Program - In an emergency situation, immediate access to medical information can literally save a life. You can assist first responders by giving them information they need. This service allows you to fill out a personal information form which includes patient medical and health information needed by first responders. The completed form goes into a "vial" and is then placed on the top shelf inside refrigerator and a magnet is placed on the outside of the refrigerator door. First responders are trained to look at the refrigerator door for the magnet. Upon seeing the magnet, they know that important information is waiting inside the refrigerator. This program is free to qualifying residents.
To get a Lockbox or Vial of Life, call (480) 350-2704.