Before becoming the Phoenix Fire Foundation in 2015, we were known as Phoenix Fire-PAL, the three letters standing for “Public Awareness League”. Fire-PAL was established in the mid-1980s as a non-profit (501.C.3) support organization to assist the Phoenix Fire Department in efforts to reach the public with life-saving information.
Since its inception, the group grew to create and distribute public safety campaigns, messages and literature on behalf of fire departments throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area. An example of our efforts is the Just a Few Seconds drowning prevention campaign. Since its original release in 1989, the campaign has reached millions of people throughout Arizona and has been credited with a dramatic reduction of both pediatric and adult drownings. Most important, Just a Few Seconds brought much needed awareness to the epidemic of drownings, and this resulted in numerous programs and policies that have shaped the drownings prevention across Arizona and even throughout the U.S.
Fire-PAL’s primary focus throughout the years had been to address issues concerning children — the Urban Survival, Learn Not to Burn, and C’Mon Get Real Gun Awareness campaigns are just a few examples. In recent years the focus of the organization has broadened to include a variety of other important public safety issues.
Originally, the organization was composed of volunteer board members who primarily represented Valley media, advertising and public relations outlets. There were no paid positions. Fire-PAL received no steady funding, so there was often the challenge of being able to produce enough materials and having resources to expand efforts. When funds were received, they were simply put to use to help acquire assets, materials and literature for our programs to support public safety.
In 1985 Phoenix Fire Chief Kara Kalkbrenner asked retiring Chief Doug Mummert to ramp up efforts to provide optional, non-governmental funding to the department. With Fire-PAL already serving some of these needs, it only made sense that the established organization, already with its non-profit foundation status, be transformed for this important effort. This was the “new” beginning for what is now known as the Phoenix Fire Foundation. Today, the organization continues to be made up of community activists, business and public safety leaders.
The Phoenix Fire Foundation’s goals are to strengthen the preparedness and response capabilities of the Phoenix Fire Department, while also focusing on promoting public education, outreach and the wellness, support, training and safety of the members of the Department. This is accomplished through financial support made possible with donations from concerned individuals, businesses, foundations and other sources. We target these funds to core needs such as new equipment, enhanced technology and the mainstay effort to educate and get the word out on life-saving measures. It is likely that nearly all of these programs and equipment would not be funded if left to the normal budgetary process and timelines of the Phoenix Fire Department.
Our extremely low overhead enables us to immediately turn nearly every dollar collected toward ensuring that the men and women of the Phoenix Fire Department have the necessary tools they need to save your life or that of your neighbors.
Additionally, the Foundation partners support other public safety and non-profit organizations that enhance, improve and better protect all who live, work and visit the communities of the Valley of the Sun and surrounding areas. The Phoenix Fire Department’s role to help lead life saving efforts never stops at the city limits, and the Phoenix Fire Foundation
For more than 125 years we have depended on these brave men and women, our first responders, to save our lives and to keep our community safe. Now we can help them, help us. Please answer the call today and help us build the best fire department in the nation.