Glendale honors oldest volunteer firefighter

GLENDALE, AZ - Glendale’s last living volunteer firefighter was honored by the Glendale Fire Department on Sunday.

Charlie Bootz celebrated his 90th birthday at his daughter’s Glendale home where fire units arrived just before 3 p.m. with lights and sirens on.

There was a short presentation and Bootz was presented with a plaque by Council member Ian Hugh, Assistant Fire Chief Elio Pompa and former Glendale Fire Chief Gary Crabtree.

The Glendale Fire Department started in 1912, the same year Arizona celebrated its statehood.

The all-volunteer department served the community through the Great Depression and World War II.

The city hired its first fulltime paid fire chief in the 1950s and 10 years later Glendale was able to show the need to hire its first fulltime paid firefighters.

Volunteers still play an important role within the department. Over 100 volunteers give their time as safety educators, administration support, fire cadets and as members of the Crisis Response Team.

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