Each month, Cadence at Gateway recognizes Arizona leaders working to improve the East Valley region in the business, education, government, non-profit and our faith-based community.

This month’s honoree is Forrest Smith, a Deputy Fire Chief and Public Information Officer for the Mesa Fire and Medical Department. He is trained in fire science/fire-fighting and holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations, advertising and applied communication.

Since 1999, Forrest has served as the spokesperson for the third largest fire department in Arizona that serves a population of nearly 480,000 residents. He works tirelessly on public awareness campaigns that benefit the quality of life in Mesa, by providing information in-person and online, as well as via local and national media. He has made important and complex issues easy for the public and children to understand in order to keep our entire community safer.

Mesa Morning Live host Mark Cordes describes Forrest as “one of the heroes who make Mesa the great city that it is.” Forrest is active in the annual Mesa Hydration campaign, collaborating with the United Food Bank to fulfill the yearly (current 2018) goal to collect 500,000 bottles of water for the less fortunate during the hot summer months.

Forrest annually provides fire and fireworks safety tips to Mesa citizens, often conducting simulations for safety videos that are shared on YouTube and spread across social media. Forrest heads up the “Close Before You Doze” safety campaign, encouraging people to shut bedroom doors before going to sleep to promote fire safety. Water Safety is another topic that Forrest continually promotes to Mesa residents. He also recently became involved in the new Citizens Academy, which allows residents to do ride-alongs on fire vehicles.

Forrest is the driving force behind Mesa Fire and Medical’s public—private partnership development by developing program sponsorships. On a recent Mesa Morning Live show, he spoke about his belief in the commitment of the Mesa business community.

“Our city is growing, but the city is also getting smaller because of the engagement we have,” Forrest said. “That’s the fun part, seeing regular faces, seeing everyone out doing things. What speaks volumes is how we collect water, how we collect (items) for our donation programs. We always see the engagement of our business community.“

Thank you, Forrest Smith, for being a Cadence Community Champion, as you make Mesa and our region safer for all of us. To learn more about Forrest Smith and the Mesa Fire and Medical Department, visit http://www.mesaaz.gov/residents/fire-medical/divisions-sections/administration.

Fireworks Safety: https://www.facebook.com/MesaFireDept/videos/10154585841226937/

2018 Hydration campaign: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teHxpHtPUbA     

Close Before you Doze: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLmQauDcQck

Dehydration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvmSefBy6oc

Mesa Morning Live: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8Myv-T9qVc