Over the last quartercentury hundreds of employees — including 10 chiefs — have walked through the doors of the Sedona Fire District. But there’s been one constant throughout that entire time — Tricia Greer.
Greer, the district’s executive assistant, recently announced she would be retiring after nearly 24 years on the job.
“We have an adorable 17-month-old grandson named Hayden who needs his ‘GiGi’ more than SFD needs their Tricia,” she said. “I plan to grandparent him a few days a week so my daughter and son-in-law can save on daycare costs. Also, we own a small family business here in town [Sedona Engraving, Awards and Copy Services] primarily run by my husband, Steve Crawley, and son-in-law, Tyler Houser. They also could use some help and I’m just the one to provide it.
“Most importantly, even though I’m not ancient, I am moving into the period of my life when a person wants more time for travel and to do the things you never have time to do while working full time.”
While she has good reason to move on, she did say the decision to do so was not an easy one. She felt very conflicted about her decision because the SFD family is such a huge part of her life, she said.
“As Chief Kris Kazian says, ‘Tricia bleeds SFD,’ and that’s true,” Greer said. “I have a passion for this place beyond what is normally expected from an employee. And the reason why is we provide a critical public service to this community. Even though I’m not out on the firetruck or ambulance, I feel my contributions in administration facilitate those responses and, therefore, I am providing a community service.
“Everyone in this community should know what a fantastic public service they have and that when they need help, we will be there. I know this from experience because I have had several medical emergencies through the years which required calling 911. There is no better feeling than to know the best possible help is on the way.”
As far as what she’ll miss most, Greer said it will be the people — both those she works with as well as those she comes in contact with on a weekly basis. That feeling is mutual, according to Kazian.
“Tricia is one of the hardest working and most loyal employees anyone could ask for,” he said. “I am extremely thankful for her passion and dedication for excellence to her position and to this community. She truly has SFD running through her veins and she will be greatly missed.
“She has been here for me since the minute I walked in the door. I am not sure how I would have been able to survive without her — literally. She is the heart and soul in a lot of things SFD.”
When she started in 1994, hers was a new position created to provide administrative help to upper management with the title of executive secretary. Through the years, the job expanded and changed. She supervised the front desk and even human resources for a while. Also, she was the backup recorder to the SFD Governing Board, but was appointed to be the fulltime staff liaison to the board in 2001. For a short while, her job title was management assistant, but because of her responsibilities, it was changed to executive assistant about 10 years ago.
Long story short, she’s worn a lot of hats over the years — including prior to her time with SFD.
“I’ve worked since I was 16 years old as a receptionist in a hair salon, a waitress, secretary, actress, even a typesetter at the Sedona Red Rock News many years ago,” she said. “I saw the job announcement for an opening at Sedona Fire in the newspaper and at the time, I was a stayat-home mom and part-time secretary. It seemed like a great opportunity and I jumped at it.”
In looking back on her time, she said that while the faces have changed, the goal of the SFD has not.
“I am so honored to be part of this great organization,” she said. “You hear so many negative things about SFD on social media and around town, but don’t believe it. It seems to me that people twist facts to fit into their narrow interpretation of what an emergency service provider should be. But I can tell you this community can be very confident the Sedona Fire District is living up to its mission statement of ‘We help people through safe, friendly and dedicated service.’”
Greer, along with Capt. Matt Fleece, will be honored during a walk-out ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 10, at 3 p.m. at Fire Station 1 in West Sedona. The public is invited to attend.