It is our mission to care for those who are here today,
those who have gone before us and those who will surely follow.
The inception of the PFFA came about as a successor to the Arizona State Firemen’s Association, which was founded in 1924. During that time, Tucson Chief Joseph Roberts was the head of the Firemen’s Association. Interestingly enough, activists in that original organization were mostly chiefs though the organization was open to all firefighters, professional and volunteer. One key activist in the ASFA was Phoenix Deputy Chief, Jake Siken.
During the 1960’s a divide emerged between the career and the volunteer firefighters. The volunteers wanted to focus on fraternal activities and remain out of the political fray. Career firefighters wished to get more political and fight for a reduction in hours and a retirement system. The inevitable came in 1967 and the career firefighters formed the Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona.
The first convention of the PFFA was held in Tempe that same year and firefighters came from Flagstaff, Glendale, Phoenix, Prescott, Tucson, Yuma and Tempe. The primary focus of the first convention was to ratify a constitution and bylaws. A unique provision of the initial constitution required that the PFFA President and Secretary/Treasurer come from the same Local. Walt Torgerson from Tempe was nominated by the Phoenix President Paul Saunders and ultimately became our first PFFA President. Sylvester Anderson of Tempe was elected as our first PFFA Secretary/Treasurer.