Observer Program

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Observer Guidelines

If you are interested in pursuing a career within the fire service, the Mesa Fire and Medical Department would like to give you a close-up look at your department serving our customers.

Your time with us should be an educational and enjoyable experience; however, we are emergency responders and you may respond to incidents that are extremely dangerous.  The Company Officer will advise you when the scene is safe enough for your to enter.

  • You must be over 18 years of age and physically able to climb in and out of a fire truck.
  • Allow at least 7 days advance notice for appointment.
  • A member of another fire department.
  • A member of a public safety entity.
  • You should be in the process of either taking classes in fire science emergency services or be interested in the application process to be a firefighter.
  • We ask that your grooming attire be neat and conservative.  Pants or slacks, an appropriate collared shirt, i.e., golf shirt or blouse, and sturdy closed-toe shoes are required.  No tattered, sloppy jeans or clothing, no shorts, skirts or dresses will be allowed.  Individuals who do not meet these requirements will not be permitted to observe.
  • All observers will sign a Mesa Fire and Medical Department Waiver of Responsibility form prior to the beginning of the observation period.
  • The Observer must leave a copy of photo identification with the Captain prior to the observation period.
  • You will receive a letter of confirmation, a Waiver Form, an Observer Information Sheet and Observer Program Evaluation to leave with the Officer in charge. 

The Company Officer will brief you on safety instructions.  A few guidelines to help your ride-along be a safe one:

  • Vehicle seat assignment.
  • The City of Mesa seat belt policy.
  • The requirement to wear the Observer Vest.
  • Remember that you are an OBSERVER only.
  • There may be incidents where it may not be prudent for your to view an incident, for reasons of personal safety, or the sensitive/graphic nature of the fire or police incident.  You may be asked to stay with the apparatus until the crew returns.
  • Observers will not be allowed to use cell phones or 2-way radios while observing emergency calls.
  • Observers will not be permitted to carry cameras on the apparatus unless they are reporters on assignment or permission is explicitly approved by the PIO office.
  • Emergency activities may delay your scheduled return to quarters.
  • If you observe between the hours of 11:00am and 5:00pm, you may opt to eat with the crew.  The Captain will advise you on the cost of each meal.
  • The Observer is responsible to provide transportation to and from the designated ride-along station.

This may not be a complete list of information, requirements or guidelines.  Further information may be provided.    

All requests for a ride-along are accepted at the discretion and approval of the Mesa Fire and Medical Department.

Please contact:
Gail Coakley 480-644-4494
Senior Program Assistant
Departmental Communications
Public Information Office