Welcome From The Chief
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.
|Chief Abbott’s background also includes coordination of the City of Tempe’s emergency management plan for Super Bowl XXX in 1996 and the last seven Fiesta Bowls that were played in Tempe. He is an original member of the Phoenix Urban Area Security Initiative and co-chairs the Training and Education subcommittee and Metropolitan Medical Response System subcommittee.
He also served with the Phoenix Fire Department’s Urban Search and Rescue Team, with deployments to the Northridge earthquake and Oklahoma City during the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building, where he served as the Team’s Technical Team Manager.
Abbott holds a Master's degree in Security Studies, Homeland Defense and Security from the Naval Postgraduate School and a Bachelor's in Industrial Technology from Arizona State. His
early-career education includes an Associate Degree in Fire Science from Mesa Community College.