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Crisis Response Internship Information

Click on the links below to go directly to that information.

NOTE: Interviews are done on an ongoing basis as people apply to the CR program.


Dear Prospective Student,

Thank you for your interest in the Glendale Fire Department’s (GFD) Crisis Response (CR) program for your internship. Glendale Fire Department has created internship programs with Arizona State University’s and Northern Arizona University’s schools of social work. Students who attend other universities and colleges are welcome to contact Glendale Fire Department CR program to discuss creating an internship program. GFD would like to take this opportunity to explain what is expected of students once they are accepted into the program. Click here for an internship brochure (pdf).

Internship Overview:

All prospective students must be 21 years of age and have a valid Arizona Driver’s License.


The CR program is an essential part of the Glendale Fire Department’s service to the citizens of Glendale and the West Valley. A crisis team of two respond with fire crews and/or police officers, assisting those who are experiencing a 9-1-1 emergency. An emergency could be a house fire, unexpected death of a loved one, a car accident, drowning, homicide, mental illness, assault or suicide. Once on-scene, the crisis team works with fire crews and/or police officers to provide citizens emotional support, resources, referrals to agencies or organizations, or transportation if needed. The CR program operates the same hours as firefighters; 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Students who are accepted into the CR program are required to complete 24 hours a week by working one 24 hour shift or two 12 hour shifts.

*For students whose internship program is only one semester, please contact Sara Steffen at

Application & Training:

Students interested in completing an internship with the CR program must complete a city of Glendale volunteer application, which is located on the main Crisis Response Web page - CLICK HERE to go there now. This application, along with a resume and days of availability needs to be sent to:

Glendale Fire Department’s Crisis Response Program
C/o Sara Steffen, MSW
6829 N. 58th Drive
Glendale, AZ 85301
Fax: 623-847-5313

A ride along is required prior to an interview:

Once your packet is received, you will be contacted by Sara Steffen to schedule an observation ride and if you believe this internship program is a fit, then a possible an oral interview will be scheduled for a later date.

Those who pass the interview will be notified by phone or email, and will be instructed to start attending the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) training classes and Glendale Specific trainings. Students will be given an orientation book (yellow book) that tracks their training. These documents contain Standard Operational Procedures (SOPs), background check forms, volunteer/student agreements and locations of the MAG trainings locations (which rotate monthly between West, Central and East Valley, therefore travel will be required). These classes focus on incident command on-scene safety, infectious control, victimology, crisis intervention and mental health.  

In addition to the class room trainings, students are required to schedule a minimum of two ride alongs, during which time they shadow a CR team during a shift. Shadowing enables students to experience working along side fire crews on varied 9-1-1 emergencies. After the two ride alongs and completion of class studies, students must then complete two or three practicals (depending on call volume during the shift). During the practicals, the student will be “running” the calls with their partners. Students will be evaluated on their performance by veteran volunteers who will determine when they no longer need supervision and can become a Crisis Team Member (CTM). Once all trainings are complete, an identification badge and uniform t-shift will be issued and the “yellow book” will be turned in to the intern’ supervisor. The student is responsible for purchasing navy pants, black belt and black boots. A list of stores to purchase these items will be provided. The shirt and badge must be returned at the end of the internship. All hours spent in training will count toward the student’s internship hours. GFD’s driver’s training and a valid AZ Driver’s License is required before any student can drive a department vehicle.

During the student’s shift, they will be partnered with a city of Glendale volunteer, a Physician Assistant student from Midwestern or other university experienced student. They respond to calls with GFD crews to provide needed support and resources to those in need. Students will be assigned “follow-ups,” which are citizens within the city of Glendale who might need more assistance than what can be provided during the initial meeting. Follow-ups typically are referrals from engine and ladder company captains who have responded to 911 calls from these citizens and feel that the Crisis Response Program can provide additional resources. Many times, these citizens need information regarding agencies that assist with grief, mental illness, health care, substance abuse, or extra emotional support. After the follow-up is completed, students will complete a written report prior to completing their shift.

Throughout the internship, students are required to attend both internship and volunteer meetings. The internship meeting is to ensure that all of the students are meeting the needs of their learning contacts and discuss cases. Volunteer meetings provide a chance for interns to meet all of the volunteers and are directed to provide updates within the program, as well as GFD. Guest speakers presenting during volunteer meetings may provide everyone with information regarding a local agency or service. Students who work for an agency that has relevance to the CR program are encouraged to be a presenter for volunteer meetings. Guest speakers also bring unique and inspiring topics specific to the needs of crisis workers.

Students are required to submit a reflective journal after each shift throughout their internships with GFD. The purpose of journaling is for students to reflect on their calls personally and professionally. The CR staff uses this technique to assist the student with any difficulties they may have encountered following a specific incident.  Was this a particularly emotionally difficult call for the student? Were all available resources provided?  What theory worked (or did it work)?  More details and examples about journaling  will be provided during training.  The journals will be e-mailed to the Intern’s supervisor or her designee. The journals will be reviewed and responded to as quickly as possible and  will not be shared beyond the CR staff or without permission from the submitting student.

In addition, students will have assignments that are related to crisis intervention and customer service. These assignments or projects will count toward their total required hours. More information concerning these projects will be provided to those students who are accepted into the program. Students will also be given opportunities to attend trainings in the community, as well as online trainings related to their internship. Students who are interested may have the opportunity to attend Youth Fire Setters classes with Dr. Janet Boberg or assist with  our Community Outreach Program with events and projects or work with “Topaz,” the Glendale Fire Department’s Crisis Response dog. Topaz is a valued member of GFD and assists both fire and CR crews with on scene of calls where animal therapy can be of benefit to both customer and crews. Topaz is the first fire department crisis response canine in the country.

Additional Information/Comments:

The Glendale Fire Department’s Crisis Response Internship program is truly a one-of-a kind chance to put all of the knowledge and skills a student has acquired through their years of schooling to use in order to help those who are in need. By completing one’s internship with GFD, a student will be able to apply theories, become familiar with crisis intervention skills, understand community resources and be part of a Crisis Response Program that is second to none. This internship provides the perfect opportunity for students to bring social work to the people in need, during their immediate need. The skills and resources that are acquired during this internship can be used throughout one’s social work career.





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