By Fiona de Young, Community Relations Manager

The Rincon Valley Fire District proudly celebrated four new hires and one promotion during a pinning ceremony held at the monthly board meeting March 25, 2021. The badge pinning is a long-standing fire service tradition and includes an oath of commitment to duty:

Pinning the badge

Assistant Chief James Tucker – promoted from Battalion Chief
Battalion Chief Kris Middleton – new hire from the Eloy Fire District
Firefighter/EMT Luis Montanez – new hire from Rural Metro Fire Department
Firefighter/EMT Jeramy Johnson – new hire from Sonoita-Elgin Fire District
Firefighter/EMT Parker Burnett – new hire from the Parker Fire Department

Three of the new hires were made possible through funding from FEMA’s Staffing for Adequate Fire Emergency and Response (SAFER) program, a major $585,000 grant awarded to RVFD last fall.

With explosive population growth in Vail and a 23% increase in emergency call volume, RVFD has pursued strategic funding opportunities to provide for personnel, training, and equipment to meet demand. The District’s goal was to increase its staffing capacity to deploy a four-person engine crew, keeping with the guidance set forth by the National Fire Protection Association and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

“The Institute proved that when responding to a structure fire, the essential firefighter tasks were done 25 percent faster with the four-person standard,” Chief Tucker said, “when seconds count, this extra person will allow the crew to get water on the fire faster, thus reducing property damage and lowering the danger to firefighters.” We are proud to improve services with this significant increase in personnel.


The badge pinning is the first celebrated by RVFD since the Coronavirus pandemic broke out. Family and friends, current and retired personnel attended a small reception at Station 292.

It’s wildfire season! To find out more about creating a wildfire ready home, sign-up for our free home assessment program by visiting our web site at or call us at (520) 647-3760. We are always happy to discuss safety with you. Residents must reside in the district and within the Wildland Urban Interface to be eligible for a home assessment.

Fiona de Young recently joined the Rincon Valley Fire District as its new Community Relations Manager. In this role, she is responsible for managing the District’s community engagement and media relations. Before joining the District, Fiona worked as an aide to U.S. Senator Martha McSally. She holds a Master’s Degree in Information Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Fiona loves hiking in the beautiful mountains of Southern Arizona.

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