Hellsgate Fire Department PDF Print E-mail

Hellsgate Fire Department

Letter from the Chief

As we approach the end of 2011 here in the Rim Country, we want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Safe New Year.  We are looking forward to a wonderful new year! One we know will be filled with challenges in our lives and our work; hopes for happiness and security; and dreams for a new economic recovery.  

I was able to attend a Presidential Forum put on by the National Fire Protection Agency in Quincy, MA in October to represent as the President of the Arizona Fire Chiefs Association.  It was very informative to come together with 38 State Presidents and the Canadian Representative.  The most interesting thing to find in the trip was that we in Arizona are not alone.  Most of the issues that we face in the Arizona Fire Service are the same ones that others are dealing with throughout the nation. The topics ranged from cuts in funding; attempts to maintain current staffing and services; decreased volunteer participation; fewer people going into the fire service as paid personnel and changes to pensions for full-time personnel.  The outcome from this meeting was that we will keep cutting our cost to help others and work together to keep the spirit of firefighting alive in America.

We faced the trifecta of circumstances in 2011 with the ending of the long time contract for services for the Town of Payson, the devaluation of many of the homes within the district and hitting the maximum tax rate, which none of us wanted to happen.  We have been able to maintain the same services that we were providing with a few modifications in manpower and have fulfilled out commitment to continue to provide the best level of service for those who are residents or visitors to the communities we cover.

We did have to reduce the hours that we open our main office in Star Valley to four days a week and occasionally we do not have the fire station in Tonto Village manned during the weekdays with a person on duty, but often have to rely on our Reserve Staff to respond to calls from home during these times.  

We hope to have the new “Fuels Reduction Grant” up and running by mid-January 2012 which will provide vegetation hauling services that meet grant guidelines being covered at no cost to the property owners and a refund grant process where a property owner may receive up to $ 750 per acre to have vegetation removed to HFD guidelines.  More will be available by the end of the year on this grant.  

We are in the process of hiring Reserve Firefighters for the fire department.  If you are interested, please follow the link provided to obtain the information that you will need to be one of those applicant that can fill these 10 positions. 

Thank you and I hope the Hellsgate Fire Department is a value to you and your family if you are a resident or visitor to our wonderful part of Arizona.

Gary W. Hatch