Randy Johnson

Randy Johnson is sworn in Sept. 14 as the newest member of the Arizona City Fire District Governing Board.

ARIZONA CITY — The Arizona City Fire District board swore in its newest member on Sept. 14 as Randy Johnson was selected to fill the vacant seat that was left by Steve Ross earlier this year.

The board will continue with its current members as the upcoming election has been canceled after three incumbents, board Clerk Dean Craun and members Dewayne Hill and Randy Wittenburg were the only ones running.

During the meeting, Chief Jeff Heaton told the board that the district ran over 270 calls in August, which is still twice as many calls from last year.

The district began breaking down the different calls and while not all of them were COVID-19 related, many were for difficulty breathing.

“We’re seeing a lot more ill people, sick people and difficulty in breathing problems that I think has an underlying effort to be close to COVID and I think people have a much higher awareness now,” Heaton said.

Heaton added that the district is notified by a hospital whenever a patient transported has tested positive for COVID-19.

The district also keeps track of its personnel as everyone has a temperature check every day and they fill out a questionnaire.

“We track that every single day, even the people that work a 48-hour shift,” Heaton said. “They do it every single morning.”

Due to having double the number of emergency calls coming in, the district was approved for approximately a $50,000 grant.

“We were able to get back some of the staff costs and the equipment costs related to running so many calls off of the grant,” Heaton said. “We have several more grants out, we almost have $1.8 million worth of federal grants written, we’ll just have to see how many come in.”