The towns of Sahuarita and Green Valley are experiencing a significant change in their fire service starting Monday, July 1.

Previously, the southern half of Sahuarita was served by Green Valley Fire, while the northern half, including areas like Rancho Sahuarita, relied on membership-based services from Rural Metro Fire.

From now on, the entire town will be unified under a single fire district: the Santa Rita Fire District.

At Station 154, firefighters were seen preparing their equipment for this transition. In the morning, hoses were being cleaned out, wrapped and stored into trucks by firefighters wearing their new Santa Rita Fire District uniforms.

The switch to the Santa Rita Fire District is more than just a branding exercise. The department will take over areas previously serviced by Rural/Metro fire, including Rancho Sahuarita, the towns largest development.

As we made our expansion up here in northern Sahuarita, weve looked to change our name to be more inclusive of all the areas we served, said Chuck Wunder, chief of Santa Rita Fire District.

The change follows a months-long informational campaign run by the (now former) Green Valley Fire. Sahuarita residents were informed of the changes and had the opportunity to ask any questions they had about the changes.

Community feedback has been largely positive. “Ive talked to a lot of people over the past few months, said Ed Lytle, a resident of Rancho Sahuarita. There were some questions at first but I think theyre going to be very satisfied.”

Along with the new name, the funding mechanism will also change for Sahuarita residents. Under Rural/Metro, residents had to subscribe to a monthly membership.

In contrast, Santa Rita Fire services will be paid for through taxes and include every resident in the Town of Sahuarita.

Residents like Lytle say that the new system could be an improvement.

I dont have to see it every month and it comes out of my taxes, Lytle said. Thats going to work better for myself and Im sure its going to work better for most of the people here in Sahuarita.

According to officials with Santa Rita Fire, the new firetrucks with updated logos may take a few months to a couple of years to be fully integrated.

However, the fire district assures residents that they are ready to serve the town immediately.

Weve been fortunate and blessed to have enough resources in place, said Chief Wunder. Its an exciting time for us at Santa Rita Fire District.