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Pinal County Board of Supervisors, volunteer fire department seek dispatch solutions

Posted at 10:21 PM, May 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-06 01:21:22-04

FLORENCE — The Pinal County Board of Supervisors searched for a solution Wednesday, May 4th with the South Florence Volunteer Fire Department.

During the meeting, Pinal County Attorney Kent Volkmer took to the podium announcing, “The chair called me and said, 'Get this done,'” He said. “Because this board made this a priority, we're done."

This comes after the fire department's 911 dispatch was taken out of service in March amid a battle over certification documents.

During that time, Frank Hetzel and Marilesa Money's home in South Florence burned down after calling 911, with no fire department response.

ABC15 spoke to Hetzel and Money on April 26th where their home once stood. Money recalling, “It's so painful that people can be that cruel. Our lives are devastated. We lost everything."

After speaking with Hetzel and Money and attending Pinal County meetings, a solution was finally reached.

Volkmer says, “It's an MOU, which is just fancy speak for a memorandum of understanding. It's a contract. So, it allows both parties to know exactly what their reasonable expectations are."

That means the volunteer fire department will now get a courtesy call when there's a call to 911 in their area. The county asks in return:

"We essentially said if you can do X, Y and Z, including background checks, give us a master list of who's there make sure that there's training completed," says Volkmer.

And like clockwork, shortly after Wednesday’s meeting, the fire department got a 911 call for a mobile home on fire. Thankfully no one was hurt.

"It was literally less than 10 minutes from the point that the final switch was turned on and saying, ‘Yes’, you know it's proverbial, ‘Yes’, they are going to receive calls and there was actually a call for fire service in their district.”

Volkmer says the MOU is a win for everybody.