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Thursday afternoon, a 2-year-old boy was found at the bottom of a pool in the Senita subdivision.

The child apparently got out of the back door of a house on Cowpath Road around 5 p.m. and fell into a pool that was not fenced, according to Maricopa Police Department spokesman Ricardo Alvarado.

The boy’s mother dove into the pool and pulled the child out. The mother also gave him CPR and revived him.

The child was awake and alert when police and fire and medical personnel arrived at the scene. The child was taken to the hospital.

Alvarado said he is doing fine this morning.

Field Service and Flushing/Distribution technician Scott Williams flushes a hydrant in the Homestead neighborhood of Maricopa as part of Global Water’s newly revised flushing program. The revision prescribes annually scheduled flushing of hydrants throughout the city to prevent the buildup of sediment that could potentially damage fire department pumping equipment. Photo by Mason Callejas

Municipal water supplier Global Water is in negotiations with City of Maricopa Fire & Medical over an agreement to clean and maintain hydrants within the city, a move aimed to help mitigate risks of equipment rendered inoperable by dirty water.

The private company, which controls and distributes most of Maricopa’s fresh water supply, is working closely with the fire department to reach an agreement about the removal and prevention of potentially dangerous silt and sediment buildup in the city’s hydrant supply lines.

In the past, sediment from hydrants has been identified as a source of problems with MFD’s crucial pumping equipment.

During a call to the public at the regular session of the Maricopa city council meeting Nov. 1, Global Water General Manager Jon Corwin outlined the measures the company is taking to correct the problem, and how after working together over the past year the two parties have likely reached an agreement.

“That agreement has been reviewed by Global Water and sent back to the fire department,” Corwin said. “We’re hopeful that we’re close to signing that agreement.”

In an earlier interview, Corwin said he was never made aware of any recent issues with MFD pumping equipment and that if it had happened it must have happened in the distant past.

“That message was never even communicated to Global Water,” Corwin Said. “So, when that happened exactly I’m not sure, but I know it was not anytime recent.”

Maricopa Fire Chief Brady Leffler, on the other hand, insisted that the incident did happen around a year ago, and that it was reported. Nonetheless, Leffler went on to say that, despite an initial sluggish response from the company, he is happy that Global Water has begun working closer with MFD to address the issue and the two parties were soon to reach a workable agreement.

“Our relationship with Global Water has improved tremendously over the past couple months,” Leffler said. “When we started this process it was very dysfunctional, being a privately owned water company. We had a meeting and it didn’t go well. Since that time we had another meeting that did go well.”

Corwin agreed the meeting was constructive and Global Water has tentatively agreed to continually and systematically flush hydrant lines to prevent any issue in the future.

The proposed agreement would also allow the fire department to go in after the flushing is done to check the hydrants’ functionality as well as assure that non-working hydrants are addressed and reconciled with the Geographical Information Systems public safety standards.

How the logos are changing for the Maricopa Fire Department, which is now operating as City of Maricopa Fire/Medical.

 

By Mason Callejas

The Maricopa Fire Department successfully lobbied the City Council to change its name, citing public confusion as the reason behind the alteration.

The official name of the department has been changed from “Maricopa Fire Department” to “City of Maricopa Fire and Medical.”  Fire Chief Brady Leffler spoke to the council during a work session Sept. 20 and indicated the department often suffered from “mistaken Identity” due to misplaced association of their previous name.

The addition of the geographic identifier “City” to the name is aimed at distinguishing the City of Maricopa, which resides in Pinal County, from the county of Maricopa. Leffler said he hopes the distinction will help people recognize the difference between localities, but will also help dissolve the city’s misperceived connection with controversial Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

“We are commonly referred to as the Maricopa County Fire Department… and we are associated with Sheriff Joe on a routine basis,” Leffler said. “We have worked very hard to try and reverse that.”

Arpaio has been drawn into the national spotlight in recent years due to what some consider racially discriminatory policies to determine an individual’s immigration status.

Leffler also wanted to add the identifier “Medical” to the name to provide a better sense of what services the department provides.

“We are adding the word medical,” he said, “because that is approximately 75 percent of what we do.”

The council voted unanimously to approve the change that will be implemented over the next three years. Though new equipment will immediately reflect the new names, existing uniforms and vehicle logos will be slowly phased out so the cost will be better absorbed by the department’s budget.

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