Year: 2018

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By Chief Ben Palm


The Arizona Sheriff’s Association adopted the “Ready, Set, Go!” educational program in March. They did so because the unusually dry and warm winter season indicates that the time for wildfires is now – in fact there is one burning in the Coconino National Forest. Our department has also responded to a recent brush fire in Yarnell.  Thank you to all who have consistently received open burning permits. Please maintain defensible space around your property. Be sure to trim tree limbs that overhang buildings, trim grasses and inspect your property for hazards. Not only is wildfire a concern, but our town has had to structure blazes since December 17th. Make sure your smoke detector is properly functioning.  Do you have concerns about your property’s fire risk? Call our office to schedule a walk-around with our Coalition representatives. As always, be Firewise! 928-427-6578


We are looking for people who like to get some walking exercise and engage with surrounding communities. We have informational booklets and other printed material regarding evacuation prep, defensible space and wildfire safety. Denise Roggio and Bruce Olson are organizing community walks to get the information to residents. The first walk is Saturday, April 7th, 10am, meeting at the Wilhoit Fire Station. The anticipated duration is 2 hours. The next one will be in Peeples Valley, followed by Yarnell and Williamson Valley-Bagdad. Your help is greatly appreciated!


To prepare for the upcoming fire season, we are pushing maximum outreach and actionable steps. It starts with community events! This will be a fun interactive experience beginning with a Pancake Breakfast sponsored by the Yarnell Fire Auxiliary. Anne Mottek from Arizona Fire Adapted Communities (AZFAC) and her partners will be presenting at Southern Yavapai Fire Department on Saturday, April 14th during breakfast.  The event is open to all communities. 8am -11am, 9000 Magby Drive, Wilhoit. Suggested donation to cover the cost of food: $10/adult and $5/child. For info, contact Denise Roggio @ 928-427-6578.


The 5th Annual Memorial Run is Saturday, June 2nd, 2018. Thank you to Augie’s Restaurant, Yarnell Community Presbyterian Church and The Kane Schools of Massachusetts for sending in their generous financial support. Reminder: this year, there is a virtual run option! Share the information with your out of town friends.  The event details are on the website: Please “Like” and “Share” our Facebook Page. The auxiliary is seeking 25 volunteers, cash sponsors to pay expenses, In-Kind donations for raffles and participants to run!  Contact Denise Roggio or Linda Ma: 928-427-6578.


We are grateful to have YFD volunteer, Josh Western, on our team. Josh has been a firefighter since 2011 and joined YFD in 2015. He and his wife of four years reside in Glendale. Josh enjoys any activity that involves working with his hands. He also likes spending time with his three dogs, Cooper, Mulan, and Ava. He graduated Paramedic School in December 2017. Josh, thank you for volunteering with us!

February 2018 Service Calls: Incidents: 16 – Average response time:  4 Minutes, 4 Seconds

EMS: 12   Motor Vehicle Accident: 0   Mutual Aid: 0    Public Assists: 3    Wildland Fire: 1

*NOTE: Mutual Aid is a separate category, not counted in total calls.



By Chief Ben Palm


There were wildfires in and around our community in January; the conditions are extremely dry.  Lack of rain reduces new plant growth; it also makes existing plant life more prone to ignition. Plants such as scrub oak, pine and creosote are highly flammable – more so in dry conditions. Staying Firewise is key: make sure you have defensible space around your home.  Trim branches, cut grasses and remove the debris.  Also, take advantage of the Coalition for Wildfire Adapted Communities events.


Join the food and informative fun!  Southern Yavapai Fire Department, a Coalition member, is hosting a spaghetti dinner on Saturday, February 24th at 4pm.  The suggested donation is $6 to cover the cost of food and beverages. SYFD Chief Kellie Brasher and YFD’s Bruce Olson will be explaining how preparation is the best way to protect against wildfires. SYFD is located at 9000 Magby Lane, Wilhoit, 86332, just one block east of Highway 89. Don’t miss the opportunities to socialized and learn. For info, contact Denise Roggio @ 928-427-6578.


Mark your calendar for Saturday, June 2nd, 2018. The Memorial Run raises funds for the Eric Marsh Foundation, William H. Warneke Foundation and YFD. The Yarnell Fire Auxiliary has contracted with Startline Racing to manage this annual fundraiser.  We’re excited about its expansion and new opportunities.  Thanks to Augie’s Restaurant and Yarnell Community Presbyterian Church for their sponsorship pledges. The event details are on the website: The auxiliary is seeking 25 volunteers, cash sponsors to pay expenses, In-Kind donations for raffles and participants to run!  Contact Denise Roggio or Linda Ma: 928-427-6578.


We are grateful to have YFD volunteer, Sharon Smith, on our team.  Sharon joined us in early 2014, and is a dedicated EMT.  She’s lived in Anthem, AZ for the past 15 years in a home custom built to suit her style.  Sharon brings a happy demeanor when she’s on duty.  As a long time Cardiovascular Technician for Arizona Heart, Sharon has a fabulous understanding of patient care. She loves life and is an avid fan of nature, outdoor activities and hiking. In fact, her favorite relaxing activity is cross-country skiing in Flagstaff.  Sharon enjoys spending time with her nieces and nephews; she also loves spending time in the kitchen. Some of our staff can attest to what a great cook she is! Sharon, thanks for your faithful service to our community. We’re glad you’re part of the YFD family.

December 2017 Service Calls:

Incidents: 18 – Average response time:  3.44 (3 Minutes, 26 Seconds) 

EMS: 14                Motor Vehicle Accident: 0             Welfare checks: 0

Mutual Aid: 2        Public Assists: 1                             Smoke Checks: 1

Structure Fire: 1    Wildland Fire: 1                            Rescue: 0

*NOTE: Mutual Aid is a separate category, not counted in total calls.

2017 Total Call Volume:

All Calls: 229 – EMS: 123   Wildfire: 13   Structure: 3   Motor Vehicle Accidents: 14

Welfare Checks: 12  Public Assists: 51  Smoke Checks: 7  Rescue: 1   Car Fire: 1  Rattlesnake: 2   Other/HazMat: 2  AVG Response time: 5 min. 8 sec.
**NOT INCLUDED IN TOTALS:  Mutual Aid Provided: 9   Received: 1




By Denise Roggio, Yarnell Fire District

As those of us who reside in rural Yavapai County are well aware, a health related emergency may require transport via ambulance or helicopter to the nearest medical facility.  The average ambulance cost is $3,650; helicopter transport costs are nearly triple that amount. If you have medical insurance, rest assured that most traditional health plans will not cover all the associated transport costs.  If you have NO health insurance, it is unlikely that you’ll be able to negotiate the bill with the transport provider.  I know this from experience. For instance, Lifeline will accept negotiated monthly payments, but the overall cost will remain in effect. Do you have the coverage you need?

After an ambulance ride in June, 2015, I was made aware of the coverage available from the transporting agencies. I quickly signed up for Air Methods Omni-Advantage membership and Lifeline Ambulance Lifecare.  However, it was recently brought to my attention that there is another company we should consider for transport assistance.

If something unfortunate happens that requires you or your loved one to be flown for treatment, understand that there are two companies that provide air transport in our area: Air Methods (Native Air) and PHI Air Medical (Air Vac 17). The problem is we have no way of knowing which one will respond. If Native Air is too far away, Air Vac 17 will respond, and vice-versa. If you have Air Methods/Omni Advantage coverage, it will only cover Native Air transport. So here are all the options:

  1. Lifecare Coverage: Lifeline Ambulance Coverage is available by calling 928-445-3814

Enrollment is during the month of September each year. If you call the number now, you will be placed on a waiting list until September 2018.  The cost according to their website is $50.73 annually per family.  Transport charges will go through your existing health insurance first.

  1. Air Methods Membership: Helps pay for Native Air Flights. Air Methods offers membership starting at $40 per individual or $75 per family annually. Group Plans are available. Air Methods stipulates that this is not an insurance program – it only covers Air Methods Flights after health insurance has met its requirement. If you have no health insurance, you may still qualify. Call 855-877-2518 for application and information.
  2. PHI Coverage: Helps pay for Air Vac 17 Flights. PHI Cares offers family coverage for as low as $50 per year. Brochures are available in the Fire Administration Building. You may sign up online by visiting and using Base Code 3756.

Call for information: 1-888-435-9744

Buyer alert: Membership rates for the above are based upon current health insurance status. If you have no coverage or receive Medicare, please contact each company to be sure you qualify for membership.

If you need assistance call Denise at the Fire Administration Building: 928-427-6578.