Though its northern Arizona branches were in no danger, employees of the $1.3 billion Arizona State Credit Union of Phoenix were on the front lines late last week in providing community assistance to firefighters as they sought to contain a raging wildfire near Flagstaff.
Leading the CU effort in volunteering to help man a Command Center Communications office and to raise funds for endangered animals was Pam Leffel, who manages one of two Arizona State branches near the fire zone.
"Our strength has always been supporting our communities," said Paul B. Stull, senior vice president. "We can't fight the fires but we can support those that do."
In addition to Arizona State staffers handling phone lines on behalf of the city, Leffel arranged a cash fund to evacuate a local animal shelter in the path of the fire and construct a makeshift shelter on government property.
Both of the CU's Flagstaff branches accepted toiletry donations and comfort items to supply fire camps where teams slept before heading back to the fire lines. The CU delivered hundreds of items to the firefighters including a stock of padded boot insoles. Employees at the East Flagstaff branch also put up a banner, "Thank You Firefighters."
A number of CU members had been evacuated over the week with Leffel's home in sight of the fire line.
As of Monday the main Schultz wildfire in the Coconino National Forest had been 50% contained with 15,000 acres now destroyed.