PRESCOTT VALLEY – The Central Arizona Fire and Medical Authority (CAFMA) and the United Yavapai Fire Fighters Association Local 3066 celebrated a first this week, with the organizations agreeing to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) concerning wages, hours worked, and working conditions of CAFMA-employed firefighters.
The new MOU – formally agreed to on April 27, 2020 – signals a heightened level of partnership between CAFMA’s administration and the first responders represented by the United Yavapai Fire Fighters. The agreement grants the Authority’s Firefighters and other covered personnel, sworn and unsworn, the right to have the United Yavapai Fire Fighters serve as their meet and confer representatives moving forward.
“It’s a significant agreement because it sends a strong message about collaboration,” said Ben Roché, President of the United Yavapai Fire Fighters Association local and a firefighter in the Quad Cities since 2004. “When you have leaders like Chief Scott Freitag and the Fire Board side by side with the men and women on the frontlines, you have the full range of viewpoints represented in planning and in other mission-critical discussions. This partnership creates more insight and more innovation, which in turns creates efficiency, cost savings and a better fire district when it comes to serving taxpayers.
“That’s the goal here: Every time a resident dials 911, we want to respond with the best-trained, most efficient, most well-prepared firefighters and EMTs in the state.”
CAFMA staffs 10 full-time and two reserve fire stations covering 365 square miles of Yavapai County. Its firefighters serve about 100,000 residents throughout the municipalities of Prescott Valley and Chino Valley, and unincorporated areas of the central part of the county including Paulden and Williamson Valley Road.
In 2019, CAFMA responded to more than 12,200 emergency calls within the district boundaries and several hundred calls outside the district.
Established in 1986, the United Yavapai Firefighters Local 3066 represents more than 200 members, including active and retired firefighters, engineers, captains, dispatchers, fire inspectors, hotshots, and chief officers. Local 3066 falls under the umbrella of the Professional Firefighters of Arizona, a state-level organization which represents more than 9,000 firefighters. The local also belongs to the International Association of Firefighters, which represents more than 325,000 members in the United States and Canada.
“The local and CAFMA continue to making meaningful strides in better serving residents and in creating an empowered workforce,” said Roché. “We love the work we do and the opportunity to serve the community and help make lives better. A better district gives us a chance to keep our more experienced people on the job and give them the tools they need to save lives. That’s a win all around.”