Patagonia Fire and Rescue (PVFD) recently sponsored its 44th Annual Steak Fry. The event was a huge success and neighbors and friends of the PVFD came out from all over southern Arizona to support the fire department’s efforts.

PVFD needs fundraisers like the Steak Fry because we are a volunteer fire department. Currently we have approximately 30 members. Donations help pay for needed and expensive fire equipment and firefighter training. Many thanks from PVFD to those of
you who contributed.

In 2018, PVFD responded to over 250 calls in the town of Patagonia and outlying communities. Nearly 75% of those emergency responses were medical-related calls. The remaining 25% were a variety of structure fires, car wrecks, flood responses, helicopter landings and wildland fire response.

We handle quite a workload for a team of volunteers and our level of maintained professionalism is recognized all over the state.

So you can imagine how disheartened we were when it came to our attention that there is a faction of Patagonia town folks who think that PVFD is “motivated by political beliefs.” And this faction does not want to support the efforts of the fire department.

For the record I would like to clear up some misconceptions about PVFD. When someone in town has an emergency they dial 911, which dispatches PVFD by radio to the scene of the emergency. If it is a medical call, we bring our medical equipment and EMTs. If the San Rafael Valley is on fire, we respond with wildland firefighters and brush trucks. If the flute factory is on fire, structure equipment is employed. Whatever the nature of the emergency dictates we are prepared to bring calm to the chaos.

To us, it does not matter if you are an infant, an adolescent, an adult or the elderly. We do not care if you are a man, a woman, gay, straight, or everything in between. We do not care if you are brown, black, white, yellow or olive colored. Truth be told, most of you are a shade of green, gray, or blue when we arrive. Those sickly skin colors are the only skin tones that are important to us at the time.

We have no input into the rate or spread of our growing community. Nor do we pick and choose who we serve. When the 911 call goes off on our radios, we respond. It does not matter whether you are an artist, a farmer, a border patrol agent, a rancher, a miner,
a drunk, an activist, or a slacker. It does not matter whether you are a U.S. Citizen, or not. We are going to handle the situation in the most professional and proficient way possible.

We do not have the luxury of operating with “political motivations” and we are apolitical by choice.

We are here to serve this entire community without stint and without judgement. It is an honor to serve this community. We strive to continue our level of training and professionalism.

We bring state of the art equipment in our daily responses. We respond day or night, rain or shine. And we do it all as volunteers.

When you have an emergency we are here for you. In this community “we still make House Calls.” Donations accepted.

Michael McGuire is a lieutenant in the Patagonia Volunteer Fire Dept.