Fire Department Members





Reese Bertholf

Chief Bertholf was born and raised in Minnesota.

Upon graduation from high school in 1997, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. He attended recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, and completed Combat Engineer School in Camp Lejeune, N.C., in the spring of 1998. His service included time with Combat Assault Battalion in Okinawa, Japan, and with Marine Wing Support Squadron 273 in Beaufort. Chief Bertholf was also a member of the 1999 Marine Corps Summer Pistol Team.

While still in the Marine Corps, Chief Bertholf began volunteering with the City of Beaufort Fire Department in May of 2000. Upon receiving an honorable discharge from the Marine Corps in August of 2001, he started his career with City of Beaufort and was assigned to Shift 1 and worked his way through the ranks, obtaining the rank of captain in 2011.  In 2015, he was named chief, and in 2020, he was promoted to assistant city manager while continuing to be fire chief.

Chief Bertholf has a Bachelor of Science  in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina Beaufort, and a Master of Business Administration from The Citadel.

Some of his awards and recognitions include Academic Honor Graduate from USMC Combat Engineer School, Volunteer Firefighter of the Year for the year 2000, 2008 Business Division Honor Graduate Technical College of the Lowcountry, Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, Class of 2008 TCL student commencement speaker, and Dean's List 2009 USCB.

Chief Bertholf is a four-time recipient of the City of Beaufort Lifesaving Medal for involvement in rescues from the Beaufort River, the rescue of an autistic child stuck over 35 feet in the air in a tree, his aid to a severely injured police officer, and aid to victims of heart attacks who survived as a result of CPR.

Chief Bertholf served the city of Beaufort and Town of Port Royal for 14 years as a volunteer, career firefighter, and career fire officer before rising to the rank of Chief in 2016.

Chief Bertholf has been very active as a community volunteer as a coach, Girl Scout leader, and school helper for his children. He currently is the chairman of the board at Riverview Charter School. He is on the board of directors of  the Child Abuse Prevention Association (CAPA).

Chief Bertholf and his wife, Mikie, have two children, Kiwa and  Kai.

John Robinson

Deputy Chief of Administration

John Robinson

John Robinson is a native of Beaufort, S.C.

He graduated from Beaufort High School, then entered the U.S. Navy, serving honorably on nuclear-powered fast attack submarines. After 10 years of military service, he accepted an engineering position with Intel in Hudson, Mass. John moved his family back to Beaufort in December of 1999 and began his career with the City of Beaufort Fire Department shortly after.

John earned a Bachelor of Science in education/curriculum development and Master of Business Administration/Public Administration.

John is a South Carolina Fire Academy instructor, an alumnus of the National Fire Academy, and a graduate of the Leadership Institute of the South Carolina State Firefighters' Association. He earned recognition from the U.S. Fire Administration as an executive fire officer. John was s member of the class of 2014 Leadership Beaufort, and is a 2019 graduate of the South Carolina Association of Counties, Local Government Leadership Institute.

John and his wife were married in 1994 and have 3 children.  

Tim Ogden_better_200px

Deputy Chief of Operations

Tim Ogden

Deputy Chief Tim Ogden is a Lowcountry native and has lived in Beaufort since 2004. He joined the fire service as a junior volunteer firefighter in 1992.

He became the first paid firefighter for the Town of Yemassee and began his education there as a fire officer and fire marshal. He then joined the Beaufort County Building Codes Department to serve as the fire code official in 2004.

Deputy Chief Ogden holds several South Carolina Fire Academy, International Code Council, and National Fire Protection Association certifications, and recently served as deputy state fire marshal for the Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton, and Colleton regions. He has a Bachelor of Science in fire science and a Master in Public Administration for emergency service management from Columbia Southern University.  

Deputy Chief Ogden, his wife Audra, and children are happy to be a part of the Beaufort/Port Royal Fire Department family.

Ross Vezin_2021

Assistant Chief

Ross Vezin

Originally from Jupiter, Fla., Ross Vezin moved to Beaufort in June of 2008 to start his career at the City of Beaufort/Town of Port Royal Fire Department. Ross was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in August of 2015 and then promoted to captain of the Training/Education Division in July of 2018. He was named assistant fire chief in July 2020.

In 2011, Ross graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Fire Science and in 2013 he earned a  Master’s of Business Administration with an emphasis in Public Administration from Columbia Southern University.

In 2014, Ross was selected and graduated from the South Carolina Leadership Institute through the South Carolina Firefighters Association. Ross was then selected to attend Leadership Beaufort through the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce and graduated in 2015. He graduated from the Risk Management Institute through the Municipal Association of South Carolina in November 2020.

Ross is chair of the Burned Children's Fund of the Medical University of South Carolina. He also serves on the Executive Committee for the South Carolina Firefighters Association and on the Risk Management Committee for the City of Beaufort.

Since 2010, Ross has been a camp counselor at Camp “Can” Do; a camp in South Carolina for children who have suffered burns. In 2016, he was selected to attend a burn camp in Washington, D.C., for children from throughout the United States and Canada.

In April 2017, Ross was selected by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels as a “Key Influencer” in the Beaufort area and was awarded with a ride of a lifetime with the Blue Angels. In 2018, he was nominated for the Civitas Leadership Beaufort Outstanding Alumni Aware, which recognizes the alumnus who best exemplifies the directive of Leadership Beaufort to give back to the community. 

Throughout his career, Ross has earned two lifesaving medals along with a letter of commendation. He was the 2009 City of Beaufort/Town of Port Royal Firefighter of the Year and the 2011 Beaufort Exchange Club Firefighter of the Year. In 2014, Ross was awarded the “Outstanding Alumni” award from the Technical College of the Lowcountry.

John Badgett_1200px

Fire Marshal

John Badgett

Capt. John Badgett is the fire marshal for the City of Beaufort/Town of Port Royal Fire Department. 

John was born and raised in Norfolk, Va., and moved to Beaufort in 2005. 

John began his career at the Fire Department in August 2011. He was promoted to lieutenant in November 2017, and most recently was promoted to captain and fire marshal in January 2020.  

John earned a National Registry Emergency Medical Technician Certificate in 2010 and has obtained International Code Council Certificates for fire inspector I and II. He also has multiple certifications from the South Carolina Fire Academy and National Fire Academy.  

John received a lifesaving medal for a successful resuscitation. He was named Firefighter of the Year in 2015, and Fire Officer of the Year in 2019. 

John and his wife, Jenny, have two wonderful children, Bodie and Lia.

Tara Hodges

Office Manager

Tara Hodges