Tucson Fire Overview

Fiscal Year 2022/23

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)

**645 of the 700.5 FTE for Fiscal Year 2022/23 are Commissioned Officers

Budget By Program

Department Expenses

Budget By Expense Category

Budget By Funding Source

Significant Changes

The adopted budget for Fiscal Year 2022/23 of $116,449,250 reflects a net decrease of $6,575,390 from the Fiscal Year 2021/22 Adopted Budget. Major changes include the following:

  • Decrease Safer City Improvement Fund by $16,851,550
  • Increase to salaries and overtime by $10,405,330


Fiscal Year 2021/22 brought continued challenges through ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic response. A decrease in pandemic-related impacts was realized in the 3rd and 4th quarters of the fiscal year. Firefighter vacancies also remained a challenge, but some relief was realized at the very end of the fiscal year with the graduation of 29 recruits. Structure fire activity in the city continued to increase and overall call volume fell just a few hundred incidents short of 100,000, a near 5,000 incident increase over Fiscal Year 2020/21. The trend of fire activity correlated with activity of homeless individuals continued to increase along with the number of intentionally set fires. Supply chain issues for a wide variety of department needs (equipment and tools, personal protective clothing, vehicle parts, etc..) persisted throughout the fiscal year, and the department continues to experience extended vendor delivery times due to national shortages of fire-retardant fabrics, microchips for vehicles, and other high-demand items. In addition, regulatory changes have resulted in a higher burn rate of medical personal protective equipment (PPE). This fact, combined with sharply increased cost of goods due in large part to supply chain challenges and inflationary pressures, has in turn placed additional strain on financial resources.


The overall distribution of incident types remained relatively constant along with the increased incident volume. All three bureaus within Tucson Fire remained extremely active, not only in response to the increased number of incidents but also consistent with known and forecast growth in the city. Another record year was experienced for new construction fire plans reviews. The automatic aid response model continued with additional implementation taking effect for all structure fire responses as of July 1, 2022, following a year of implementation with special operations responses such as hiker rescues, trench/cave-in rescues, and swift water rescues.
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Operations showed continued and remarkable progress in obtaining return of spontaneous circulation in a growing percentage (approximately 40 percent) of cardiac arrest calls, leading to over 1,550 life years added to the Tucson community through cardiac arrest survival based on hospital discharge data. Tucson Fire boasts the highest cardiac arrest survival rate of any EMS provider in the State of Arizona.
The Tucson Fire Department graduated a recruit class of 29 new firefighters on June 17, 2022, and it was successful in obtaining an Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) award for the 2nd straight year to train 20 incumbent firefighter/EMTs as advanced life support paramedics. A SAFER grant was also awarded to the department which allowed an increased in headcount by 13 positions from 632 to 645 and which pays full salary and ERE costs for these 13 new positions for 3 years before the City takes over the obligation for the positions through the general fund budget.

Future Objectives

Tucson Fire has entered its review by the Insurance Services Office (ISO) of the prestigious Class 1 rating it currently holds. ISO audits all Class 1 fire departments every 5 years, and Tucson Fire has held Class 1 status since 2017. The department still intends to pursue international accreditation in the next two years to compliment the ISO Class 1 rating.
In addition, Tucson Fire will continue to strive to grow its commissioned workforce and response capabilities to improve response times to fire and medical emergencies across the city. The Community Risk Reduction Division also continues to expand outreach efforts in the areas of Life Safety Education and the highly regarded Tucson Collaborative Community Care (TC-3) program. Working with our partners at Tucson Police’s Homeless Outreach Team and Mental Health Support Team and the City’s Community Safety, Health & Wellness Office, TC-3 and Tucson Fire strive to make a positive impact to assist some of our City’s most vulnerable and less fortunate residents by connecting them with needed services to reduce reliance on the 911 system and to decrease non-emergent calls for service that strap resources and contribute to increased response times to true emergencies. Tucson Fire remains committed to being an innovator, collaborator, and reliable partner with City departments and the community we serve.