NEW RIVER, AZ - The Daisy Mountain Fire Department in the New River area will unveil a new program to sell ad space on its fire trucks.
The fire district board will start taking bids February 15.
You can't miss the big, red truck.
"We're driving a billboard," said Daisy Mountain Fire spokesman Dave Wilson.
The money would go toward community programs that were reduced by budget cuts.
Daisy Mountain fire trucks don't just respond to emergency scenes. Firefighters take them to parades, community events, and, sometimes, they travel to other parts of Arizona.
With all of that exposure, the fire district decided there was a good opportunity to offset budget cuts, Wilson said.
There are currently six trucks. The ads would be printed on two roll up doors on either side.
"With the decrease in revenue, we've had to cut out programs such as CPR (and) public education," Wilson said.
According to Wilson, property tax revenue dropped nearly 70 percent in the past five years due to the housing crash.
That translates to roughly $1.5 million out of the fire district's budget.
The fire district's board members approved the program at a meeting two weeks ago after an ad agency approached them with the idea.
"(We're) thinking outside the box," Wilson said.
Some community members say they support the idea but raised concerns about ad content and the department's image.
"My kids do think of (firefighters) as superheroes," said one Anthem resident, whose kids attend daycare near the fire station. "The advertising should be family- friendly."
"I want my kids to see the fire trucks because they love the fire trucks," said another Anthem mom.
Wilson said the fire district's board is comprised of the fire chief and elected community volunteers. They would approve ads before they're posted.
"We'll be selective to make sure we're projecting a positive image," he said.
The fire department hasn't set a price on the ad space.
There is no projection on how much revenue would be collected. The department says all bids will be considered.
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