Red Rock Rural Community Association
PO Box 3086
Sedona, AZ 86340

May 22, 2006

Caryn Maxwell, Chairman
Sedona Fire District Governing Board
2860 Southwest Dr.
Sedona, AZ 86336

Dear Caryn,

As residents of the greater Loop Road Area we have a deep concern regarding response time to our region. As you know, recently a fire destroyed a home two doors down from Sedona Fire Station # 2, which currently sits idle. Despite the pleas of area residents, the Sedona Fire District Governing Board apparently has no intention of reactivating this station. In a recent published letter to the Sedona Red Rock News dated April 19th Governing Board member Joy Moore stated:

Station 2, at 255 (sic) Red Rock Loop Road, sits idle because it is only a garage-type structure on less than 0.25 acres. It does not have firefighter-related cooking, sleeping or training facilities. The emergency calls around this facility average approximately 20 incidents per year. It would be difficult to justify an expenditure of several million dollars for this limited-response capability”

Let’s consider Joy’s statement in detail. To begin with, it would hardly require an ‘expenditure of several million dollars’ to bring station #2 on-line. In actual fact a modern two story facility could be placed on that property for between three to five hundred thousand dollars and could be staffed by two trained personnel round the clock for approximately two hundred thousand dollars per year. This may sound like a lot until you consider the fact that Loop Road residents contribute over $500,000.00 to the Sedona Fire District annually.

Joy states The emergency calls around this facility average approximately 20 incidents per year”. Again, this is incorrect. According to statistics provided by Fire Chief Matt Shobert, in the prior 12 months 28 calls originated from the Loop Road alone, 40% more than stated by Joy Moore. An additional 84 calls were made from the Sedona Pines-Elmersville area (a region 5 minutes away that could be served by Fire Station #2). The combined total of these areas is 112 calls, nearly as much as was received in the same time period by the Oak Creek Canyon area (122). And as the Loop Road area continues to grow there is no doubt the number of calls from our area will increase sharply in the years ahead. Just the Bella Terra project alone will add an additional 100 homes to the area when completed, increasing the area’s annual contribution to the Fire District as well as the need for its services.

We are not asking for a full blown facility, like at 2860 Southwest Dr., in Sedona, we are simply asking for a facility to provide a first response. Had Station #2 been manned then the home that burned to the ground two doors away could have been saved. Had this station been manned, they could have held the worst damage at bay, buying precious time until the main Sedona fire department arrived. By comparison, Station 5, located at 3791 N Hwy 89A in Oak Creek Canyon, which serves almost an identical number of calls as our region, has a fire engine, a water tender and an ambulance, and is manned 24 hours a day.

Clearly the situation as it currently stands is unacceptable. We propose that The Sedona Fire District Governing Board:

  1. Reactivate Sedona Fire Station #2, making any necessary improvements; or
  2. Sell the property at 2555 Red Rock Loop Road and offer the residents in the area a pro-rata share of the proceeds so that individual home-owners can purchase their own firefighting equipment; or
  3. Turn the facility over to residents of the Loop Road area, allowing area residents to form their own fire district and redirect their tax revenues to provide service to this area.
Until this distressing situation is resolved we will continually ask: How many more homes must burn to the ground a stone’s throw from Fire Station #2 before the Governing Board sees fit to reactivate it? And why aren’t our tax dollars being used to protect us?

Sincerely,

Sam Braun, President Red Rock Rural Community Association 928-203-9572

Roger Moe, Vice President Red Rock Rural Community Association 928-204-1461

Brian Lane, Secretary Red Rock Rural Community Association 928-282-9525

Donna Davis, Treasurer Red Rock Rural Community Association 928-204-2593

Copies to:
Tom Wells
Charles Christensen
Ralph Graves
Joy Moore
Arizona State Attorney General Terry Goddard
Yavapai Supervisor Chip Davis
Fire Chief Matt Shobert
Sedona Red Rock News
Red Rock Review