August 18, 2004
Off-duty firefighter Brian Murray lounged Tuesday next to a pool at a Paradise Valley resort, surrounded by cameramen, reporters and paying guests.
"Great ambience," said the Rural/Metro Fire Department captain. "Great service."
Murray was one of 10 firefighters from Station 828 who received a complimentary stay at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort and Spa in Paradise Valley.
Not only were off-duty firefighters and their families provided rooms and fruit baskets designed to impress, but so, too, were the on-duty firefighters.
"They actually are operating the Rural/Metro station out of our hotel," said Terri Worthington, the resort’s director of public relations.
"We just thought: ‘They are right here. They are our neighbors. They help us.’ . . . And we just wanted to thank them."
On Monday and Tuesday, several rooms at the front of the hotel were set up with radio equipment while several VIP parking spaces were reserved for firetrucks. By Tuesday morning, the firefighters had responded to a couple of calls, including a medical emergency and a request for assistance from the Phoenix Fire Department.
"We really had no concerns about their response times out of here," Rural/ Metro Chief Robert Hansen said. "They are only three miles from their original station, and this is even more central for Paradise Valley."
The on-duty crew didn’t lounge by the pool, but they did play basketball and work out in the gym, which is what they would normally do at the station, Hansen said.
The resort even invited a Scottsdale fire station to join their Paradise Valley counterparts for a complimentary lunch Monday and Tuesday, Hansen said.
"Just wait until tonight," Hansen told Murray. "I hear you get cheese platters."