PHOENIX -- During these hard economic times, Valley fire districts, which are mainly funded by property taxes, are looking for other ways to raise money.
In Apache Junction, that means selling advertising space on their fire engines.
"Basically we're rolling billboards," said Apache Junction Fire District Deputy Chief Dave Montgomery.
With property values in Apache Junction dropping 40 percent during the past decade, Montgomery said putting ads on the sides of their department trucks has been a huge help, and is expected to raise $95,000 during the next year.
He said the key to the program being accepted by the public is by allowing only "tasteful" ads such as the ones from Mountain Vista Medical Center.
The same is true for the Daisy Mountain Fire District, which now sports ads for the John C. Lincoln Health Network.
"We wanted the ads on our trucks to be something we could stand behind," said Daisy Mountain Capt. Dave Wilson.
He adds that the new ads will help replace $70,000 of the estimated millions lost when property values in Anthem and other communities the Daisy Mountain Fire Department serves dropped an incredible 60 percent recently.
Both Apache Junction and Daisy Mountain used a new company, Public Safety Advertising, LLC, to broker their deals with their new advertising clients. Because the company is run by active duty Daisy Mountain firefighters, it was done free for that fire department, while all other fire departments that jump on the ad bandwagon will be charged a fee.
The contracts run for 12 months and Montgomery said the Apache Junction Fire District would welcome other advertising agencies to submit proposals.
He adds that other companies have already been expressing interest in how to buy ad space on their big red rolling billboards.
Public Safety Advertising, LLC is located at 3120 W. Carefree Hwy., Suite 1-545, and can be reached at 623-556-3038, Admin@PublicSafetyAdvertising.com or http://www.publicsafetyadvertising.com.