Rio Rico Fire District

1194 N Pendleton Drive
Rio Rico, Arizona 85648

(520) 281-8421

The Rio Rico Fire District was formed in November 1976. The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors appointed Les Babnew Fire Chief and Mary Yates was appointed Secretary. Following Les Babnew as Fire Chief was Dean Eiler. Then Robert Linneman was elec ted Fire Chief, a position he held until he moved to Texas. Ward Davis was interim Fire Chief, and Ronda Shirley interim Secretary-Treasurer until the 1994 elections, at which time Ward was elected to Chief and Ronda to Secretary-Treasurer. Darrell Miller was elected to the Fire Chief position and Laurie Gutierrez was elected to the Secretary-Treasurer position in the November 1998 elections.

The District averages between 700 to 800 fire and medical calls per year. At this time we have 15 emergency vehicles at one station, which include fire engines, ambulances, service trucks and the Chief's truck. Pictures of some of the vehicles can be found here.

The town of Rio Rico is currently experiencing a rapid growth in industrial and residential development, and in population growth . At this time there are plans for a second station due to the population growth. Rio Rico Fire District is one of the Southern Arizona Training Centers, which provides classes for other personnel form other agencies, which includes the local Sheriff and Police Departments, the U.S. Border Patrol and others. In the past, some the classes have included EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) classes, Paramedic classes, technical rope rescue classes, tracking classes, CPR classes, Hazardous Materials classes, extrication technician classes and a variety of wildland/forest fire-fighting classes.



The Rio Rico Fire District is made up of members from different economic and social backgrounds from all over Southern Arizona. All Members have made the commitment to serve the citizens of Rio Rico and Santa Cruz County through the use of the training and capabilities of the individual member and of the department. With this in mind every memeber of the Rio Rico Fire District responds to every emergency incident with the idea that there are savable lives and with the intention to do everything in his or her power to save those lives. The members of the department risk their lives a lot to save a savable life. The members of the department risk their lives within reason to save savable property and the members of the department will NOT risk their lives for unsavable lives or property. The Rio Rico Fire District is always striving to provide exceptional service in every contact with the citizens of Santa Cruz County whether in an emergency situation or not.


Personnel Information

Rio Rico Fire District is currently under the direction of Chief Darrell Miller and Secretary/Treasurer Laurie Gutierrez who are elected. Other officers of Rio Rico Fire include Battalion Chief Mark South , Captain Gene Schafer , Captain Paul Sanchez, Lieutenant Mike Mulero, Technical Rescue Lieutenant Robert Elliott Jr., Vehicle Maintenance Officer Gordon Hopke . Currently the department is about 50% paid professionals and 50% volunteer professionals.

Here is a list of the full time personnel for Rio Rico Fire District by shift:

Chief Darrell Miller (EMT, Firefighter, Engine Boss, Task Force/Strike Team Leader, Incident Commander III, Rope Rescue Tech VI)

Captain Gene Schafer (EMT, HazMat Technician, Firefighter II, Rope Rescue Tech VI)
Adam Amezaga (Paramedic, Firefighter II, Toxicology Medic, Rope Rescue Tech II)

Captain Paul Sanchez (EMT, Firefighter, Rope Rescue Tech I)
Lieutenant Mike Mulero (EMT, Firefighter II, Rope Rescue Tech VI)
Joey Ruiz (Paramedic, Firefighter II, Toxicology Medic, Rope Rescue Tech I)

Captain Mark Jones (Paramedic, Firefighter II, Crash Rescue, Engine Boss, Incident Commander VI, Rope Rescue Tech II)
Leiutenant Alfonso Flores (EMT, Firefighter II, Rope Rescue Tech III)

There are a number of volunteers that are an influential part of the district. Here is a list of the most active volunteers:
(I am constantly updating this as there are many new members every month or so)

Batallion Chief Mark South (Firefighter II, Division/Group Supervisor, Incident Commander Type III, Rope Rescue Tech II, Wildland/Forest Firefighting Instructor, First Responder)

Lieutenant Robert Elliott Jr. (EMT, Rope Rescue Technician Instructor)

Jesus Jerez (EMT, Firefighter II, Rope Rescue II)

Manny Burgos (EMT, Firefighter II, AZ Sate Engineer Certified, Rope Rescue I)

Angel Fernandez (Firefighter II)

Robert Eliott III. (Rope Rescue Technician III, Engine Boss Trainee, Incident Comander VI, EMT Trainee)

James Sheldon (Rope Rescue II)

Chris Renteria (Wildland Firefighter, Firefighter I & II Trainee)

Martha Wilhelm (Wildland Firefighter, EMT Trainee)

Chris Bollinger (EMT, Firefighter I & II Trainee, Wildland Firefighter


Rio Rico Fire District also runs an ambulance interfacility transport service in Santa Cruz County. Currently the billing and organization of the transport service is run by Elizabeth Schafer. At this time Rio Rico Interfacility Transport Service has 5 full time employees: EMT Roger Brambilla, EMT Gerardo Castro, EMT James Valdez, Paramedic Jeff Ramsower and Paramedic John McDonald. There are also numerous part time personnel affiliated with the transport service.

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Last revised: April 16, 2000.