Rural Metro

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Rural Metro Fire
Private Company
Industry Fire Protection
Founded 1948
Headquarters Scottsdale, Arizona
Products Fire Protection, Emergency Medical Services, Wildland Fire Suppression, AARF
Revenue $57 million
Owner American Medical Response
Website [1]

Rural Metro Fire, founded in 1948, is an American private fire department that provides fire protection and emergency medical services, to individual homeowners and commercial businesses in unincorporated locations throughout the United States, primarily under a subscription-based model.[1] In certain communities, Rural Metro Fire partners directly with cities, towns and fire districts under master fire contracts to provide a full complement of fire protection, prevention and emergency medical services.

Rural Metro Fire’s Specialty Fire Division is nationally recognized as a leader in fire protection services. Rural Metro Fire maintains an important role in keeping our nation’s airports, industrial facilities and communities safe and secure by focusing on each customer’s specific safety/environmental and security standards in all aspects of operations.[2]

History[edit]

The company was founded by Lou Witzeman, a newspaper reporter, after he witnessed a house fire near his home just outside the city limits of Phoenix, Arizona in 1948. There was no fire department established for the area; so Witzeman, feeling something had to be done, he purchased a fire engine and proceeded to go door to door asking residents to subscribe to the new fire service by paying an annual membership fee (in lieu of taxes).[1] This was the origin of the Rural Fire Department, later renamed Rural Metro Fire Department. In the 1980s, the company expanded into ambulance service. Rural Metro Fire began listing shares in 1993 on the NASDAQ exchange under the stock symbol RURL.

In 2015, Rural Metro Fire was purchased by American Medical Response, and senior management was released or merged into the parent corporation.

Community Fire Protection Services[edit]

Rural Metro Fire provides fire protection services primarily under a subscription-based model to individual homeowners and commercial property owners in unincorporated suburbs, throughout the United States. These areas are not included within municipal fire department boundaries or paid for by property taxes, and Rural Metro Fire fills that unique niche. It is the business model that Rural Metro Fire was founded upon. Additionally, in certain communities, Rural Metro Fire partners directly with cities, towns and fire districts under master fire contracts to provide a full complement of fire protection, prevention and emergency medical services.[3] In the event that Rural Metro Fire Department provides services to non-subscribers either in or around the communities they serve, the property owner is billed after the incident to recoup costs associated with the emergency.[4]

Specialty Fire[edit]

Rural Metro Fire’s Specialty Fire Division is nationally recognized as a leader in fire protection services. Rural Metro Fire maintains an important role in keeping our nation’s airports (ARFF), industrial facilities and communities safe and secure by focusing on each customer’s specific safety/environmental and security standards in all aspects of operations. Firefighting, emergency medical and/or security guard services are provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year at various operations located throughout the United States. The Specialty Fire Division is committed to providing the best possible proactive approach to fire safety, prevention and education and security services. The division maintains membership in the following organizations: National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC); Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Working Group (ARFF WG); American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE); AAAE-Great Lakes Chapter; Louisiana Airport Managers and Associates (LAMA), and ISNetworld.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]