PHOENIX (KSAZ) - It's no surprise that one of the biggest cities in the country has one of the busiest fire departments as well.
Phoenix comes in at number nine, according to Firehouse Magazine, right behind Miami and before Washington, D.C.
Our firefighters responded to 210,000 calls last years and thousands of them came from Station 18 in the densely-populated area around Interstate 17 and Camelback.
"You have a major university, Grand Canyon University, the I-17, an artery through the city, you have mass-transit with the light rail and then you have a large number of apartment complexes, over 200 in our one little area that we cover," said Capt. Austin Moreland with the Phoenix Fire Department.
Which Capt. Moreland says makes Station 18 the busiest in the Valley.
"Last year we went on just under 19,000 calls at this station alone," he said.
There are about 1,500 firefighters who work out of 56 fire stations in the city of Phoenix. Most of their calls, firefighter Courtney Morgan tells us, aren't the blazes you may expect.
"We're seeing a lot of people, sick people, chest pain, difficulty breathing, some overdoses here and there," Morgan said. "Over the summer, a lot of heat-related injuries."
The biggest problem these days is the synthetic drug spice. This station responds to an average of about 10 spice calls a day.
It's a tough job, with long hours, but it's something these men and women do with pride. They stay very busy, while they work to keep the Valley safe.