Tucson Fire Overview

Fiscal Year 2021/22

Mission Statement

To be excellent public safety professionals, compassionately providing our community an all-hazards response with integrity and courage through innovative prevention, education and active intervention.


The following programs are included in this department:

Staffing By Program

*Full Time Equivalent Employee (FTE)

**632 of the 687.5 FTE for Fiscal Year 2021/22 are Commissioned Officers

Budget By Program

Department Expenses

Budget By Expense Category

Budget By Funding Source

Significant Changes

The adopted budget for Fiscal Year 2021/22 of $123,024,640 reflects a net decrease of $13,257,990 from the Fiscal Year 2020/21 Adopted Budget. Major changes include the following:

  • Decrease in PSPRS pension costs due to structure of pension obligation by $13,398,880
  • Decrease in COVID-19 disaster relief funding by $15,380,000


Fiscal Year 2020/21 continued with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic largely through the end of the fiscal year. Firefighter vacancies remained a challenge, but this was partially alleviated towards the end of the fiscal year with the graduation of 30 recruits. Overall, structure fire calls rose rather remarkably within the City over the past fiscal year with a noticeable trend in the number of fires that are started by homeless individuals which then ignite a structure or start a brush fire which then extends to structures. The supply chain issues for personal protective equipment (PPE) continue, although not as severe as during the height of the pandemic, and now the department is witnessing extended vendor delivery challenges due to national shortages of things such as Nomex (fire retardant fabric used in our uniforms), microchips for vehicles, and the like.


The response metrics for emergency calls remained relatively constant despite the increase in the volume of calls for this fiscal year. The Prevention Division remained extremely active, processing record numbers of new construction fire plans reviews.

Further steps were taken to continue the implementation of automatic aid with neighboring fire districts, and the department also reinvigorated and reinvested in the Wildland Response Program with the purchase of a Type III Wildland Engine and being a more active participant in the State mutual aid system by providing resources for deployment to wildfires not only in Arizona, but in surrounding western states as well.

The Tucson Fire Department graduated a recruit class of 30 new firefighters on June 11, 2021 and was also successful in obtaining the award of a federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant that allowed the department to train 20 incumbent Firefighter/EMT personnel as advanced life support paramedics.

The SAFER grant was awarded to the department in the total amount of $5.4 million dollars over a 3-year performance period that offsets existing personnel salary and benefit costs, providing welcome relief to the City’s general fund budget.

Future Objectives

As the City grows, Tucson Fire will strive to grow its commissioned workforce and its complement of firefighting resources and apparatus in order to maintain the ISO Class 1 prestigious rating the department currently holds. Tucson Fire plans to seek international accreditation in the coming years, the department seeks to improve response times in comparison to national standards and best practices.

Tucson Fire Department seeks to assure the availability and competency of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) resources, institute a comprehensive continuing education program and encourage on-going quality assurance and improvement.

Tucson Fire Department will hold an annual paramedic training class to help maintain a robust pool of qualified Advanced Life Support (ALS) providers and keep EMS transport units and rescue trucks staffed. Additionally, with the help of a dedicated QA Manager and enhanced quality assurance measures, Fire can minimize risk and liability and improve patient care and cost recovery efforts.

Community Risk Reduction (CRR) has quickly become an industry standard and a community demand. The objective of a CRR program is to prevent the 911 call before it must occur through focused education and communication. Tucson Fire is committed to CRR’s growth and improvement.