Battalion Chiefs

Deputy Chief Justin Bates, leads the 72 people that work within the Operations Division. This includes the A, B, and C Shifts, the Training & Safety Division, and the Technology & Logistics Division.

Battalion Chief Kip GrayBattalion Chief Kip Gray leads the personnel assigned to "A Shift". 

BC Gray started in the fire service as a volunteer in 1989.   In 1991 he was a Student Intern for Jefferson County Fire District #1 in Madras, Oregon.  He was an Engine Captain for the US Forest Service on the Ochoco National Forest in Prineville from 1993 to 1999. 
Kip graduated from Madras High School and Central Oregon Community College with a Fire Science Degree.  He is an EMT Intermediate.  Kip Serves on the Regional Hazardous Materials team. He is the Wildland Fire Training Lead.  Kip also participates in the South Canyon Staff Ride near Glenwood Springs, Colorado.  This annual training teaches leadership and decision making skills for firefighters.  This involves firefighters traveling to a fire fatality site and sharing personal experiences about the fire.
Kip began his career at Medford Fire Department in 1999 as a Firefighter.  He was promoted to Engineer in 2011, Captain in 2014, and Battalion Chief in May 2018.  BC Gray enjoys living in Southern Oregon and spending time with his three children.


Battalion Chief Erin Sawall leads the personnel assigned to "B Shift".

Having worked his way up through the ranks at Medford Fire-Rescue, Chief Sawall brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in Emergency Medical Services and Hazardous Materials responses to his job of leading his team. He is a certified Paramedic.

Battalion Chief Brian Farber Battalion Chief Brian Farber leads the personnel assigned to "C Shift". 

BC Farber started in the fire service in 1978 as a Fire Explorer with the Eugene Fire Department.  Since that time he has been a volunteer with Santa Clara Rural Fire Protection District in the Eugene area, a Resident Volunteer (Sleeper) with Marion County Fire District #2 in.  He began his paid experience in 1985 as a Firefighter for the City of Grants Pass Department of Public Safety, Fire Rescue Division.  He was hired as a Firefighter for Medford Fire Department in 1994, was promoted to Engineer in 2001, Captain in 2006, and Battalion Chief in May 2018.

Brian is a graduate of North Eugene High School and Chemeketa Community College with an Associate of Science degree in Fire Protection Suppression Technology.  He is a graduate of the Fire Service Administrators Institute from Eastern Oregon State College as well as a graduate of the International Association of Chiefs of Police Leadership in Public Safety Organizations program.  He holds NFPA Instructor II and NFPA Fire Officer III certificates.  He is an EMT Intermediate.

Brian has been very involved with special projects over his years with MFR.  He has been the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Program Coordinator for most of his career.  He manages the budget, specifications, purchasing, inventory, and routine and annual maintenance of all of MFRs Structural and Wildland PPE.  He maintains NFPA and OSHA compliance for the Department.  Brian was responsible for the introduction of leather turnout boots to MFR.  He has been a member of the Training Committee for many years and is the Positive Pressure Attack (PPA) Lead.  He has been involved in teaching ventilation and is an Extrication Committee member.  He has participated in the preparations for the opening of two new fire stations.
Brian and his wife, Shellie, are happily married and have two grown children.  Their son and his wife live in Hillsboro, where he works as a Firefighter/Paramedic.  Their daughter lives in Bend, where she works for Lifelines Missions as a fulltime missionary working with college students.

Additional Department Information

Operations Department Contacts

Medford Fire-Rescue Administration Office
200 South Ivy Street, Room #180
Medford, OR 97501
Phone: 541-774-2300
Fax: 541-774-2514
Contact: Deputy Chief Justin Bates
Hours: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

© 2018 City Of Medford  •  Site By Project A


Select Language

Share This Page

Back to Top