Our Team

Fire Chief
Jay Ducote


Chief Ducote joins the Rio Verde Fire District with over 32 years in the Fire Service. Jay started his career with the Glendale Fire Department and was promoted through the ranks to Division Chief in 2003. In 2005 Chief Ducote was hired by the City of Scottsdale to assist with the startup of the new Scottsdale Municipal Fire Department. In 2008 Jay served as the Epidemiology Section Leader at Super Bowl XLII in Glendale.  He was promoted to Fire Operations Chief in 2013 and also served as the Scottsdale Fire Department Public Information Officer (PIO). Chief Ducote was hired in June of 2016 by the Rio Verde Fire District after Chief Bradbury’s retirement.

Chief Ducote is currently a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs and the Arizona Fire Chiefs Association. He has achieved higher education degrees in the following fields: Master of Education in Educational Leadership, Bachelor of Arts in Health Care Management, Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science. In 2013 Chief Ducote received his Chief Fire Officer Designation (CFO) from the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE). 

Chief Ducote is a native of Arizona, currently living in Rio Verde. He comes from a family of firefighters whose father and brother both retired from the Phoenix Fire Department.  Jay has two grown children who currently live back east. 

Fire Marshal
Chris Cavanaugh


In 2004, Chris began his career with the Rio Verde Fire District (RVFD) as a reserve firefighter/EMT having started in the fire service 3.5 years earlier with the Mayer Fire District. In June of 2005, he received his paramedic certification and shortly after accepted a full-time position with RVFD. Since that time, he has moved through the ranks serving as a Firefighter, Engineer, Captain and Fire Marshal. He has an Associate’s in Business Administration and certifications for Fire Inspector II, Arizona Arson I-IV, Fire Instructor I, and Wildland Firefighter.

Prior to realizing his lifelong dream of becoming a firefighter, Chris enjoyed a 20+ year career in construction. He began as an installer’s helper and went on to become an installer, crew leader, crew manager and eventually ran his own specialty construction company.

Chris married the love of his life, Joanna, in 1989. He and his wife were born in Arizona but spent their adolescent years in the Midwest. They currently reside in Dewey with two of their four children.

Administrative Manager Jennifer Jacobe


Jennifer Jacobe joined the Rio Verde Fire District in May of 2018. Prior to that, she worked at Southeast Missouri Mental Health Center in Farmington, MO for more than 20 years. The last 15 years had been spent overseeing the Payroll Department. While in that role, she helped implement a new timekeeping system not only at her hospital, but statewide. She served as the UAT (user acceptance testing) lead for the Missouri Department of Mental Health and even assisted the vendor with training outside agencies.


While in Missouri, Jennifer attended Mineral Area College and continues her education today with online classes. Currently, she is enrolled with Coursera in pursuit of an IT Support Professional Certificate.


Having spent her entire life in Missouri, Jennifer moved to Arizona looking for a change of scenery. She found more than she could ask for in the beautiful landscape and an amazing work family. Jennifer currently lives in Fountain Hills.

Reverend Dr. Mary Catherine (Cathy) Northrup


Rio Verde Fire Pastor

A Minnesota native, Reverend Northrup is a graduate of Hamline University in St. Paul, Georgetown University Law School, Union Theological Seminary in Virginia and Princeton Theological Seminary where she received her Doctor of Ministry degree.

Prior to coming to Rio Verde, Reverend Northrup has served churches in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and most recently in Wichita, Kansas.  Her interests are broad and include preaching, teaching, pastoral care, Stephen Ministry, inter-faith ministry and outreach.

Reverend Northrup is married to Michael Northrup, a graduate of Brown University and Gordon Conwell Seminary in Charlotte, N.C.  Michael is both a teacher and a coach.  They reside in Rio Verde with their two black lab-mix dogs.

Reverend Northrup can be reached at the church office at 480.471.7239, via her cellphone, 480.322.0183, or via email at cnorthrup@verdefaith.org.