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February 2023
Class Days

Economic Day - continued

 In the afternoon, we heard from Don Couvillion, who gave an in-depth description of the mixed-use SkySong Innovation Center, followed by Rob Millar, Economic Development Director with the City of Scottsdale. Rob provided an overview of Scottsdale’s budget and described the focus of the Economic Development Department: attracting new companies, supporting business retention and growth, attracting talent, and aligning with the community. Rob also stated that Maricopa County grew faster than any other county last year and that the growth is not expected to slow down any time soon. As a result of the high rents and home prices in Scottsdale, we import a lot of employees from surrounding communities. Attainable housing is key to attracting and retaining workers and Class 37 has expressed an ongoing interest in weaving this topic into the conversation. 


During the last session of the day, we learned everything there is to know about the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce from Mark Stanton, CEO, and Hannah Cole, Member Services Manager. The Chamber serves a valuable role in our community. There are many benefits to chamber membership, including business promotion, professional development, and networking. 

Special thanks to Sam Campana, Brian Bednar, and Ryan Rybarczyk, who served as our dedicated and enthusiastic day chairs. As a result of their outstanding planning efforts, Class 37 walked away with a broad understanding of economic development, including the process, people, and policies involved. More importantly, we’re now inspired to take the information we learned and apply it as engaged citizens. 

Fire Day-continued

Public Safety Day / Fire - continued

Chief Shannon communicated details and ideas for the future of the 305 sworn personnel department across of 15 stations, within 184 square miles. Quickly, you learn the responsibility, rigors and training necessary for operating Engines costing over $1.2 Million, running Stations like #612 costing $11Million, and the need for a new training facility which will cost north of $20 Million, to meet the future demands to “Care” for the community. Take into account the 140 sworn fire fighters who have the option to retire in July 2025, you begin to see it all quickly adds up. Yet with professionalism, they handle the calling daily, to stay atop, keeping their response times within the 80th, bringing a high level of safety to our community


At the Tom Hontz Training facility, we witnessed some of the training and special operations skills it takes to be effective. Skills such as Technical Rescue (TRT) and Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) handling, as well as unique operations as a Terrorist Liaison Officer (TLO) that Tony “Two Ropes” Ambrosia described to us were eye opening. We even learned about some of the specialized ongoing communication that regularly take place between Police and Fire throughout the day, such as “We have Fire Fighters because Police Officers need hero’s too.” But we all can look back on our fun experience with Fire Engine operations, getting on the nozzle and spraying, search and rescue in a dark building, and fire suppression, all while being geared up in great weather. 


Thank you to Fire Chief Tom Shannon, Deputy Chief Adam Hoster, Battalion Chief Brian Joseph, Captain Tony Ambrosia Matt Perry, and others for an inspiring day. We certainly know how we can help you and the community in the future, recruitment. It was exciting and the bar was set high for next class, Public Safety Day for Chris Coffee to take the helm. What a great team we have serving and protecting Scottsdale! Thank you everyone! 

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