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Fire department board welcomes back two trustees 

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By Gabrielle Gasser ASSOCIATE EDITOR

BIG SKY – The Big Sky Fire Department Board of Trustees recently welcomed two trustees back for another three-year term apiece.

Big Sky community members Carol Collins and Renae Schumacher both ran unopposed in the recent Gallatin County School and Special District Election and will continue to serve on the fire department’s governing board.

Responsible for overseeing department policies, the board’s mission is to represent its constituents, provide resources, preserve trust and property of its constituents and to protect the lives, health and safety of Big Sky residents and visitors.

In September 2021, in collaboration with other entities, the board helped support the installation of a smoke-detecting AI camera on Lone Mountain, which detected a nearby wildfire less than a month after its installation.

Recently, the board was able to help with the completion of an extensive remodel of both fire stations in Big Sky and fully staff both locations.

Moving forward, a big project on the board’s docket is to build a new training center in Big Sky. Schumacher said the department recently purchased property in the meadow for future expansion.

Right now, firefighters have to leave the district and go train at facilities in Bozeman or Belgrade. Collins says she hopes to see that happen, pointing out the value in firefighters being able to train with their own staff and equipment.

Carol Collins

A longtime Big Sky resident, Collins moved here in 1989 and has served as a trustee on the BSFD board for 21 years. She spends her time volunteering for several organizations and has served on the Big Sky Resort Area District board, the Big Sky/Gallatin Canyon Zoning Advisory Board and was involved with the Crail Ranch.

“I served for so long [on the fire board] because I wanted to see the projects get completed,” she said. “For instance, we hired a lot of staff, we used to be all volunteer, but over the years, turned to be paid staff. And then there would be situations where the chief would leave so I would stay on to help with the transition and then we just did a big remodel on both of the stations. That was something I wanted to continue to be part of.”

Renae Schumacher

Business owner, mother and longtime community member, Renae Schumacher has been in Big Sky for almost 30 years. She keeps busy volunteering her time in various positions around the community including serving in the past on the BSRAD board, housing association boards and the Arts Council of Big Sky board.

“Being a business owner for almost 30 years I think the growth of this community has been exponential in the past decade,” Schumacher said. “With our fire calls being at an all-time high, I think it’s really important to make sure that we grow properly with the community and assure a safe environment for everyone.”

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