For 17 years, Josh Milne has made it his mission to save lives.
“Helping people is my favorite part of the job,” he said.
As a firefighter and paramedic for Gilbert Fire and Rescue, he’s had plenty of opportunities to do so.
On Tuesday afternoon, he got to do it again by being in the right place at the right time.
Milne had just finished a day of live training at the Gilbert Public Safety Training Facility. He was headed home for a wedding anniversary dinner.
After pulling out of the facility’s parking lot onto Power Road in Gilbert, he would have a date with destiny.
“I was alerted by a passerby with his horn that something was going on,” he said.
Not aware of what was going on, or why another driver was blaring his horn, Milne would soon understand why.
KPNX-TV NBC 12 Mesa
The Tucson Fire Department ran more than 100-thousand calls last year - nearly 280 a day.
They attribute the rise in calls primarily to the rise in Tucson's population surge. More people - more calls. In addition to responding to fires, TFD says more than 80 percent of their calls also involve EMS.
Also despite efforts to drive non-emergency calls away from 911, it remains a go-to number for the public looking for routine assistance. Last year, Tucson launched 311 to re-route non-emergency calls away from 911.
TFD response times vary depending on volume, traffic, and where units are when the calls come in. But on average current TFD response times are slightly higher than the national benchmark of five to six minutes.
Unlike a year ago, TPD is close to being fully staffed. The department has less than 15 vacancies out of nearly 650 total positions - down from as many as 40 last year. It expects to be fully staffed after the next class graduates from the academy.
Arizona Public Media
VIDEO: Hundreds of people are making plans to come to the Valley, from the Barret-Jackson auction to the Super Bowl LVII coming to Glendale in February!
Law enforcement and fire officials are working around the clock to diligently stay ahead of the influx of people to keep everyone safe. Capt. Dave Folio said that a variety of emergency units are on standby around the events to ensure that regardless of the incident, officials are prepared. “We’ll move this equipment right into the WM Phoenix Open and will have a full Phoenix fire department,” he said.
In terms of keeping yourself safe, the captain suggests staying alert as much as possible, hydrated, wearing comfortable shoes, and being prepared. “Hydrate the night before,” the captain said. “A lot of uneven surfaces too. Wear the comfortable shoes, come out and have some fun and don’t twist your ankle.”
KTVK-TV CBS 3 & KPHO-TV CBS 5 Phoenix (AZ Family)