Before joining the Surprise Fire-Medical Department as the new chief in May 2014, Tom Abbott served more than 38 years with the Tempe Fire Medical Rescue Department beginning as a firefighter and rising to become Assistant Fire Chief for Administrative Services.
Chief Abbott supports partnerships and collaborative efforts within the fire-medical community. “Although each city in Maricopa County is unique, it is important for agencies to continue to look for opportunities to share resources and training when feasible. Other opportunities in the future will include utilizing grant funding to augment costs when appropriate,” he said.
For 25 years Abbott has worked as an instructor at the International Association of Fire Fighters in Washington, D.C. He also taught Fire Science courses at Mesa Community College and Arizona State University and has taught hundreds of hazardous materials technician classes through Arizona. He served eight years as a part-time Fire Marshall for Motorola Semiconductor, working with local agencies to improve response to potential emergencies at the sprawling plant. Some of his credentials include Certified Emergency Manager, Hazardous Materials Technician, Technical Rescue Technician, and Emergency Medical Technician.
In 2007, Governor Janet Napolitano appointed Abbott to serve on the Arizona Homeland Security Coordinating Council and in 2009, Governor Jan Brewer appointed him to the Central Region Advisory Council.