The Goodyear Fire Department started its Fire Corps program in 2010 after a round of layoffs due to budget cuts. The reduced staff was making it difficult for department members to get everything done, but the creation of a Fire Corps program has allowed the first responders more time to focus on field work.

The 11 volunteers' work covers a wide range of activities, including administrative duties and support services, conducting school and public education, organizing and helping at community events, helping residents install child-safety seats, and holding CPR training. Volunteers have put in about 4,000 combined hours since the program started, saving the city almost $79,000.

In an article for The Arizona Republic, Fire Department Community Education Coordinator Tanja Tanner noted that the volunteers handle many of the tasks that must be done but often fall to the wayside due to time constraints.

"Even with administrative work, it's just the busy work that we just kind of set to the side that's needed. But if you don't have someone to fulfill that, it just doesn't get done," Tanner said. "So they have just been (an) amazing godsend to have someone come in and help you with the paperwork."

 The volunteers also play an important role in conducting public education.

"The ones who are teaching in the schools are seeing just thousands of children, and if we didn't have them, there would be only so many schools that I'd be able to go to," Tanner said. "Our staffing levels without them, we would not be able to reach all the children in the schools (or) the community at large."

The Goodyear Fire Department hopes to continue to grow its Fire Corps program and is looking to hire a full time coordinator this year.

For more information on the Goodyear Fire Corps, contact Tanja Tanner at (623) 882-7308 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Visit the Goodyear Fire Department web site at http://goodyearaz.gov/fire.  

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