The Phoenix Fire Department (PFD) is the agency that provides fire protection and emergency medical services for the city of Phoenix. The Phoenix Fire Department responded to 148,673 incidents during 2010, with 88% being for emergency medical services. The Phoenix Fire Department currently protects 1,602,704 people in an area of 519.6 square miles.
The Phoenix Fire Department was established on August 17, 1886 with the formation of Engine 1, which was all volunteer. Frank Czarnowski became the first chief of the department on April 13, 1888. In 1922 the department switched from being all volunteer to a career one. From 1924 to 1947 the department created the A, B, and C shifts, which start and end every third day at 8:00 AM. In 1936 the Phoenix Fire Department joined the International Association of Firefighters and formed the union Local 493. The surrounding fire departments, Tempe, Glendale, and Peoria, are also part of Local 493. During the 1990s the Phoenix Fire Department started using a computer-aided dispatch system. The Phoenix Fire Department became part of the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Task Force in 1991. In 1997 The Phoenix Fire Department started participating in an International Association of Fire Fighters and International Association of Fire Chiefs Task Force that has developed a consistent physical ability test for prospective firefighter candidates, which is now known as the Candidate Physical Ability Test. In 2010, the Phoenix Fire Department had the highest national average for arsonclearance rates at 18.4%.
The Phoenix Fire Department has provided emergency medical services for the city since the 1970's. The city staffs its rescue companies with one EMT and one paramedic per unit. Each engine company is staffed with two paramedics and two EMT's.