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Fire Chief: Phoenix Well Prepared for Super BowlFire Chief: Phoenix Well Prepared for Super Bowl<div class="ExternalClassBEEF33BBB76C4B8598CDC1E8F5D0B027"><p>The Phoenix Fire Department is proud to be an integral part of the planning surrounding the upcoming Super Bowl. Our community will benefit from international attention this February when the National Football League brings Super Bowl XLIX to Arizona. During this same week, the Valley will also be hosting the NFL's Pro Bowl and the PGA's Waste Management Phoenix Open. Each of these popular events has a significantly positive impact for Phoenix and surrounding municipalities.<span style="line-height:1.6;"> </span></p><p>For nearly a year leading up to Super Bowl XLIX, we have been finalizing our response plans, exercising our multiagency operations and moving assets into place to prepare for any emergency. This is possible because the Phoenix Fire Department has built strong relationships with all of our public safety partners.</p><p>Public safety is our No. 1 priority and will be apparent during Super Bowl Week. Phoenix works cooperatively with our partner jurisdictions, including Glendale, Scottsdale, the Gila River community, the state of Arizona and many federal agencies to create a safe environment. Thanks to all the major events the Valley has hosted in recent years, we are prepared.</p><p>One of our key partners is Michael Orose of the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center. He explains the importance of using multiple resources a nd personnel from several different agencies: "As public safety agencies work together in the planning and operations of these events, not only were the events much more successful but all the different agencies developed long-lasting partnerships and relations. This makes each new major event, such as the upcoming Super Bowl, planning and operations a true group effort."</p><p>We know one another, our capabilities, and how best to plan and react to public safety needs.</p><p>Phoenix firefighters and police officers have a strong history working together under a unified command team. Our Arizona Task Force One FEMA team and Phoenix Incident Management Team have deployed to significant events such as 9-11, Hurricanes Katrina, Ike and Gustav and most recently Superstorm Sandy. These deployments have allowed our public safety personnel to operate together during significant events and effectively handle complicated problems under trying circumstances. These experiences make our Valleywide response system stronger and keep you safe.</p><p>We learned during Hurricane Katrina how important communication is between emergency responders. A Multi-Agency Coordination Center has been assembled to ensure that information will be shared, decisions made, and assets deployed in the most effective and efficient means possible.</p><p>Staff from many agencies will be assigned by our state and federal partners to help us prepare for and address all issues as they surface. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will provide teams to help us keep your public transportation safe. The FBI is working closely with us to identify and address any possible criminal or terrorist threats. These combined agencies and respective expertise will ensure that public safety decisions are based on current information and intelligence.</p><p>'As a key federal partner, the Department of Homeland Security stands ready to provide assistance to our state and local law enforcement agencies. If that coordination is in support of large scale events like the Super Bowl, or in the conduct of our criminal investigations, we recognize that working together significantly enhances the capabilities of all our agencies and ensures a safe and enjoyable event for all those who visit our city," said Matt Allen, special agent in charge of homeland security investigations.</p><p>I am confident that the training, experience and relationships established among our public safety partners will keep everyone safe as we welcome athletes and visitors from around the world to our beautiful community. 2015 is shaping up to be an exciting year for Phoenix. Be safe and have a happy new year. </p><p>Kara Kalkbrenner is Phoenix's fire chief. She can be reached at <a href="mailto:firechief.pfd@phoenix.gov">firechief.pfd@phoenix.gov</a>. </p></div>1/21/2015 7:00:00 AM(Media) Michelle Miller602-495-7398