Command Staff

Greeley Fire Department Org Chart (pdf)

Photo of Jeff Stranahan Deputy Chief Jeff Stranahan’s fire service career spans over 27 years. Chief Stranahan started in the fire service as a volunteer firefighter with Evans Fire Department in 1996. Chief Stranahan started with the City of Greeley Fire Department in 1998 as a Firefighter Paramedic. Chief Stranahan has proudly served in the ranks of Lieutenant, Battalion Chief, Division Chief, and now serves as the Deputy Chief of Administration. Chief Stranahan relies on his educational background and experience as he currently oversees the Community Safety Division, fire department budget development, policy, vision, and planning.

Photo of Chris Ellmer Deputy Chief Chris Ellmer joined the Greeley Fire Department in 2003. During his time with the Greeley Fire Department, Chief Ellmer has worked as a Firefighter/Paramedic, Lieutenant, and Battalion Chief prior to assuming his current role as the Deputy Chief of Operations. Chris holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and an associate degree in Paramedicine. As the Deputy Chief of Operations, Chief Ellmer focuses on the support and leadership of GFD personnel who provide 24/7 emergency response.

Photo of Ben Ojinaga Assistant Chief Ben Ojinaga is a 20-year veteran of the Greeley Fire Department with over 30 years in the Fire Service. Chief Ojinaga began his fire service career in New Mexico and has worked within volunteer, paid-on call, combination, and career fire agencies. He has earned a Bachelor of Business Administration and Associates of Fire Science Technology from New Mexico State University. He is also a graduate of the National Fire Academy Managing Officer Program. He joined the Greeley Fire Department in 2003 and has served in the operational ranks of Firefighter, Firefighter/EMT-I, Lieutenant, and Battalion Chief. Chief Ojinaga currently serves as Assistant Chief of Operations overseeing Emergency Medical Services, Training Division, Special Operations, and Dispatch Liaison.

Photo of Bob Fries Battalion Chief Robert R. Fries serves as the Fire Marshal for the City. He began his fire service career in 1986, moving through the ranks of Firefighter, Engineer, Lieutenant, and Battalion Chief.  He has been involved in several special teams including Peer Support, Dive, Special Operation, and Hazardous Materials. BC Fries has a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and is certified by the International Code Council and the State of Colorado as a Fire Inspector I, II, and III.  He also holds certification as a Certified Fire Protection Specialist from the National Fire Protection Association.

Photo of Chris Mirowski Battalion Chief Chris Mirowski has been with GFD for 22 years. He previously served as GFD’s Training Lieutenant and was assigned to the Front Range Fire Consortium Fire Academy cadre, spending his two years as Lead and Co-Lead in academies in 2014 and 2015. He was a prior GFD Hazmat Team Leader and served four years with Colorado Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue Team as a Hazmat Specialist. He was part of the deployments to Houston and the Florida Keys for hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Chris received the following fire service awards in his career:

  • 2015 Rotary Club – Service Above Self Award 2006
  • 2006 Firefighter in Blue – Firefighter of the Year Award with GFD
  • 2006 Aims Community College Goodale Award winner.

Chris is a proud Aims Community College Aardvark and received his AAS in Fire Science. He is also the Curriculum Development Director of Leadership for the Envision Leadership Program for the Front Range Fire Consortium.

Photo of Eric Armitage Battalion Chief Eric Armitage has been with the Greeley Fire Department since 1998. His fire service career includes working for the City of Inglewood, California and Castlerock, Colorado. During his career with Greeley, Eric has also served as a Firefighter and Lieutenant. Eric holds an associate degree in Fire Science from Santa Monica California College and is a Colorado State-Certified Paramedic. Eric lives in Berthoud with his wife Cindi and has two children, daughter Taylor and son Easton. Eric is proud to serve the Greeley community and enjoys the sense of satisfaction this career has brought him.

Photo of John Forster Battalion Chief John Forster is a third generation firefighter, and his father retired from the Greeley Fire Department in 2012 after 33 years of service. Chief Forster began his career as a reserve for the Union Colony Fire/Rescue Authority in 1997 and became a recruit for the Department in 2001. During his service with Greeley Fire, he has participated in multiple aspects of the fire service. He is one of our first certified Peer Fitness Trainers and continues to be a contributor to our evolving Health and Wellness program within the Fire Department. He is currently one of our Dive Masters, and while holding multiple certifications in sub-surface and swift-water he directs our water rescue teams. A long time ALS provider, Chief Forster has been a member of our special operations team and served on both Engine and Truck companies throughout his career. He held the rank of Lieutenant for 10 years before ascending into his current rank of Battalion Chief.

John and his wife Gwen have 3 children and are proud members of their community. John has been on staff with the University Northern Colorado’s volleyball team for 14 years and enjoys contributing to the growth of student athletes. He is a state-certified Fire Officer I, state-certified EMT-I, PSSI and holds numerous leadership certifications.

Photo of Teresa Hinz Battalion Chief Teresa Hinz grew up in Aurora, Colorado, and attended Colorado State University graduating with a double major in Biology and Animal Science while earning All American Honors as a basketball player. She started her fire service career as a volunteer with Ault – Pierce Fire from 1997-2004. She then obtained a master’s degree in biology with a teaching emphasis from University of Northern Colorado in 2002. Hinz began career with Greeley Fire Department in 2002. During her time with Greeley Fire Department, she has been involved in the Public Education Committee, EMS committee, and chart review. She is currently a Certified Fire Investigator, Peer Fitness Trainer, live burn instructor, State Proctor, and adjunct faculty at Aims Community College. Hinz promoted to Lieutenant in 2007 and Battalion Chief in 2022. Teresa has been married to Andy for 26 years and has three kids. Oldest, Kylie, 22, is a police officer in Springfield, Missouri. Alex, 18, and Katie, 16, are both thinking about public service careers. In her free time, she enjoys water skiing, horseback riding, and hiking with her dogs.

Photo of Jason Oster Battalion Chief Jason Oster is one of the A Shift Battalion Chiefs. He is currently assigned to Battalion 2, which covers West Greeley. He is in his 30th year as a First Responder and has been with Greeley Fire since 2008. He started as a Recruit Firefighter/Paramedic and was heavily involved with EMS training early in his career and managed the Zoll Equipment project previously. He is a member of the Dive and Swift Water Team. He was previously assigned as the Fire Training Lieutenant and was Lead Instructor for the Front Range Fire Consortium Recruit Academy. Jason is married to his amazing wife Alicia and they love to travel. They have two grown children, Samantha, and Austin.

Photo of Rick Smith Battalion Chief Rick Smith started his carrier in the fire service as a volunteer for the Windsor Severance Fire Protection District in September of 1990. Chief Smith joined the Greeley Fire Department in March of 1998. Since then, he has filled the position of Firefighter, EMT intermediate, Paramedic, Fire Lieutenant, and Battalion Chief. He is currently assigned to the Operations Division on B Shift. He is an active member of Greeley Fire Department’s Wildland Team and is the program coordinator for the Hazardous Material Response Team and the Peer Support Team. He has been married for 29 years and in his spare time enjoys traveling, cooking, and fishing.

Photo of Brady Thomas Battalion Chief Brady Thomas started his carrier in the fire service as a volunteer for the Eaton Fire Protection district in 2003. Chief Thomas joined the Greeley Fire Department in February 2007. Since then, he has filled the position of Firefighter, Engineer, Fire Lieutenant, and Battalion Chief. He is currently assigned to the Operations Division on C Shift. He is an active member of Greeley Fire Departments Technical Rescue Team, Wildland Team, Colorado Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue team and is the program coordinator for the Special Operations.  He has been married for 16 years and has two daughters that he enjoys traveling, camping, fishing, and spending time with.