Earlier this month, about 400 members of the fire service—from more than 20 states—got together for the Phoenix Firefighters Symposium.
They were gathered to hear about Mrs. Smith.
Now, if you’ve been around long enough to remember Phoenix Fire Chief Alan Brunacini, you’ll likely have heard of Mrs. Smith.
If you haven’t, sit back and let me fill you in…
Back in 1996, Chief Brunacini—Bruno, to his friends—came up with the idea of Mrs. Smith. She represents why the fire service exists—she’s the first priority for firefighters, the customer they serve. She stands for all the people who call for any kind of help from the fire department.
Mrs. Smith has become legendary in Arizona departments, thanks to Bruno’s consistent demand that his people keep her top-of-mind at all times.
Bruno left us in 2017, but Mrs. Smith remains as his legacy, with her influence growing. As each class of recruits is taught to remember her, and more members of other departments hear about what she stands for, they carry the message of customer service nationwide.
The Symposium was discontinued in 2007, shortly after Bruno’s retirement. But a group of Phoenix firefighters decided to bring it back this year. With the support of the United Phoenix Firefighters – Local 493, they did it.
So what was the big deal about this two-day event? It was—and is—about just what the Symposium’s slogan says: Taking Care of Mrs. Smith.
And always remember, as Bruno liked to say: “Be Nice.” To Mrs. Smith… and to each other.