Golder Ranch Fire District Talk and Community Update

Battalion Chief Lee Muscarella

Linda Shannon-Hills

Golder Ranch Fire District (GRFD) made their annual visit to SaddleBrooke Ranch to give us an update on their activities and the future of the fire station being built outside the entrance of SaddleBrooke Ranch.

It was a pleasure to host six members of the Golder Ranch team: Community Relations/Media Coordinator Lydia Camarillo; Battalion Chief Lee Muscarella for our station; Captain Matt Peru, Wildland Fire team; engineer Joe Catuano; EMT/firefighter Chad Graham; and paramedic James Cissell.

In their talk, GRFD noted it has 10 fire stations; eight engine companies; two ladder companies; seven ambulances, as well as advanced life support (ALS) medical care; technical rescue; hazardous material technicians; and fire inspection and investigation.

Golder Ranch FD is more than firefighters, as 80% of their calls are for medical emergencies. There is a temporary station for Golder Ranch FD at SaddleBrooke Ranch, located just as you enter the property, on the left near the gravel parking area. Staffing of four personnel includes a captain, engineer, firefighter/EMT and a paramedic 24/7 smaller fire truck. When they are at the house, you can stop in to have your blood pressure checked. If you like to bake, they welcome cookies and brownies or other treats.

Many people at the Ranch are not aware that for all calls to Golder Ranch FD, call 911. When the dispatcher answers, “What is your emergency?” and it’s not an emergency, tell them you live in SaddleBrooke Ranch, you want Golder Ranch FD to come, for example, to remove a snake from your property or you need to have a battery replaced in your smoke detector.

For an emergency, call 911, tell them you live in SaddleBrooke Ranch, give your address, ask them to send Golder Ranch FD. Be prepared for a call to transfer to Tucson City Communications, which contacts a Golder Ranch dispatcher. Note: this happens in seconds. Give as much information as you can about the emergency. If you can, unlock doors or access to the emergency location. Expect from four to six District personnel to arrive with a fire/ladder truck and ambulance, if needed. They will have EMS equipment, heart monitors, and a gurney. They are so efficient, they will look like a race car pit crew! You are not charged for them to come to your home. If an ambulance is needed to take you to the hospital, there is an ambulance fee (see following note on EMS subscription).

A question came up during the talk about cell phone locations when making an emergency call. Golder Ranch FD has a communications captain that works at the 911 Center. He has told Battalion Chief Muscarella that, with advances in technology, cell phone towers and internet technologies systems recognize the individual ISP (Internet Service Provider). These technologies locate where the call is originating and directs us to the address. Cell towers can triangulate where the caller is even if the area code is not local.

The new Golder Ranch Fire Station is scheduled to start with construction in the next 60 days. As you turn into the drive from AZ-77, about 100 feet on the right is the entrance to the property for the fire station. In future articles, we will have more details on what will be housed at this station.

Ambulance Service in Arizona is controlled by the Arizona Department of Health Services, Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and Trauma System. The cost for taking you from SaddleBrooke Ranch to the hospital can run from $1,500 up to $2,500. Insurances may not cover the fee or may only cover part of the fee. Golder Ranch FD offers an Emergency Medical Service subscription for about $110 a year per residence. To sign up, go to the Golder Ranch FD website:

SaddleBrooke Ranch has the privilege to have such an outstanding partnership with Golder Ranch Fire District.