By William Farhat Big Sky Fire Chief

I’m new to Big Sky, and am enjoying getting to know my co-workers at the Big Sky Fire Department and learning about the community. As part of this process, I’d like the community to know more about the BSFD, and thought I should share some of my own background.

I first started as a volunteer in southwestern Michigan in 1989, and continued as a firefighter, captain and chief officer until 2008. I worked as a paramedic for municipal ambulance services then spent 13 years in law enforcement in the Vail, Colo. area, and then back in Michigan. These law enforcement positions also included fire investigation and hazardous materials team duties, which allowed me to blend my full time work and volunteer responsibilities throughout my career.

In 2006, I joined the University of Notre Dame Fire Department and became chief two years later. NDFD was an interesting mix of fire service and emergency medical responsibilities, building inspection, and fire detection and suppression needs, along with special event coverage for up to 110,000 people during home football games. While appreciating the challenges of this position, I realized I wanted to return to a more rural setting and be more involved with the operations of a department rather than be an administrator within a large organization.

In Big Sky, I’m able to fulfill that desire and live in a great setting to raise a family. My wife Beth and I have our four daughters enrolled in Ophir School. I’m proud to be part of BSFD, a very professional organization with a history of exemplary service.

In future articles, I hope to share who we are, what we do, and provide information regarding fire safety, current events and related items. In the meantime, additional information can be found on our website bigskyfire.org and our Facebook page.

Chief Farhat became fire chief of Big Sky in September 2011. He can be reached at 995-2100 or wfarhat@bigskyfire.org.