Assistant Chief and Fire Marshal
Assistant Chief Ochs began his career with the Superstition Fire & Medical District in 1990 (then the Apache Junction Fire District). He worked through the ranks as a Firefighter/Paramedic, Captain/Paramedic, and in 1999 became one of the original six members of the District’s Technical Rescue Team (TRT). In 2011 he promoted to a Battalion Chief and in 2014 Chief Ochs was assigned as the Division Chief of Training, EMS and Special Operations (Technical Rescue and Wildland). In 2017, he served as the Acting Assistant Chief of the Operations Division and was promoted to Assistant Chief in 2018. Ochs was then appointed as the Fire Marshal and the District’s Public Information Officer. His current responsibilities also include the Fire Prevention and the Fleet Services Divisions.
Chief Ochs is a certified Incident Safety Officer and Trainer through the Fire Department Safety Officers Association, and is a “Blue Card” certified Incident Commander. He completed the Fire Service Institute; Advanced Public Executive Program through ASU and the Supervisors Academy through Arizona Governmental Training. He is a member of the Arizona Fire Chief’s Association and the Pinal County Emergency Management Planning Committee. In addition to many certifications and specialized training, Captain Ochs earned a Bachelor Degree in Public Safety Management from Grand Canyon University. He, his wife Kathy, and several children and grandchildren have made Apache Junction their home. In his off time Richard enjoys spending time with his family, camping, four-wheeling and riding at Glamis.
Fire Inspector/Community Risk Reduction Specialist
Tina Gerola has been serving as the Community Risk Reduction Specialist for the Fire District since 2004. She manages prevention and community outreach programs, including fire and life safety inspections, public education, and volunteers.
Tina is a State of Arizona Certified Fire Inspector II, Fire & Life Safety Educator III, and Youth Fire Setter Intervention Specialist II. She has received professional training in Leadership Strategies for Community Risk Reduction, Cultural Competence in Risk Reduction, and Community Education Leadership at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration from Northern Arizona University, and has a Board of Directors seat on the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona and The Arizona Fire & Burn Educators Association.