Golder Ranch Fire Chief speaks to MOAA

Fire Chief Randy Karrer

Fire Chief Randy Karrer

The speaker for the February 18 meeting of the Catalina Mountain Satellite was Golder Ranch Fire District Fire Chief Randy Karrer. He has been the Chief since 2010 and is the Chairman of the State Fire Safety Committee and the Vice Chairman of the Pima County Fire Chiefs Association. In 2013 Chief Karrer was awarded the Chief Fire Officer of the Year by his peers in the Arizona Fire Chief’s Association and he was recently made the honorary commander of the 355th Engineering Squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

The Golder Ranch Fire District (GRFD) is celebrating its fortieth anniversary this year. Its coverage includes SaddleBrooke and SaddleBrooke Ranch, Catalina and parts of Oro Valley that are served by eight stations located throughout their territory, including two in SaddleBrooke and a new one in SaddleBrooke Ranch. The Chief and the firefighters see themselves as a community resource and this is reflected in their vision for the department as providing responsive and caring fire and life safety services throughout the district. GRFD has 160 firefighters who also provide a broad range of community services including mountain rescues, snake retrieval, lock boxes, smoke detector battery changes and, of course, firefighting. Interestingly, the most frequent fire responses are due to cooking related causes.

Emergency medical services are their most requested service. In any given month they receive about 500 calls for emergency medical services, whereas there are only about 15 fire calls in a month. GRFD provides other services for the community including blood pressure checks, home safety reviews to help spot and correct hazardous conditions and the firefighters are in the pilot phase of a Community Integrated Healthcare Program.

As part of the first responder community, the GRFD firefighters frequently work with the local Pinal County Sheriff’s office and the Oro Valley Police in responding to local emergencies. The GRFD was recently awarded an ISO level 2 by the Insurance Safety Organization and are working on achieving an ISO level 1 in the future. These high safety levels provide homeowners with lower household insurance costs.

Chief Karrer is leading an energetic and effective Fire District as has been directly experienced by many of the attendees. Based on audience comments, it is clear that GRFD provides excellent community service and is widely respected in Arizona.

Our next meeting will be held on Saturday, March 18, 2017 in the East Room, MountainView Country Club, 38759 S. MountainView Boulevard, Tucson, Arizona 85739; phone 818-1000. The speaker will be Chief Master Sergeant Thomas J. Brandhuber, Command Chief Master Sergeant for the Tenth Air Force, Naval Air Station, Fort Worth, Texas. Spouses are welcome and invited.

For additional information, contact Colonel Rett Benedict, President, 825-7424, or Colonel Tom Owens, MOAA Tucson President, 760-3476, Check website: for information.