Battalion Chiefs

Deputy Chief - Operations, Justin Bates, leads the 70 people that work within the Operations Division. This includes the 3 shifts and the Training Division.

Battalion Chief Ron NelsonBattalion Chief Ron Nelson started his career in the fire service in 1981 at Valley Fire Service (currently Rural Metro) in Josephine County.  Ron held positions as Communication Coordinator and Senior Fire Captain.  He has had served at several different fire departments in the Rogue Valley Area.  Moving to the public sector service with Grants Pass Fire Rescue in 1990, Ron worked as a Firefighter for over 6 years.  In 1996, he transitioned to the Medford Fire-Rescue team and served as a Firefighter and EMT Intermediate.  He was promoted to Fire Captain in June of 2005 and Battalion Chief on "A" Shift in July 2016.

Battalion Chief Nelson serves on the Training Committee, the Hazmat Team, and helped with design of our two new fire stations.  He provided training and policy development for our Search Guidelines.  He holds degrees in Fire Science and General Education.  He also carries a Fire Service Administrator Certification.

Ron and his wife, Nancy, have been married for 35 years and have 4 grown children.  Their 3 sons are all serving in the same profession, as firefighters.  Their daughter is in her masterís program and will be a school teacher.  The family enjoys farming, 4-H, camping, outdoor activities and hunting.  Travel and cruising are enjoyed by the entire family.

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 Rick Rohrbough leads the personnel assigned to "C" Shift. He has been in the fire service for 40 years. Over 33 of those years have been with Medford Fire-Rescue.  He has worked his way up through the ranks and was promoted to Battalion Chief in May 2014.  He is an EMT - Intermediate.  Chief Rohrbough has been a member of the Hazardous Materials team since its inception.  He has extensive wildland training and holds a Division/Group Supervisor certificate.  He is an avid hunter, baseball player, and outdoorsman.

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

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