Farber new fire chief at Superstition Fire and Medical District

Fire Chief Mike Farber

Mike Farber was recently named the fire chief of the Superstition Fire and Medical District after serving as the interim fire chief for the past 10 months.

He is the 11th fire chief in the 63-year history of the district.

He has been with SFMD for the 33 years. During his time in the district, he has served as a ladder and engine company captain/paramedic for 12 years, a battalion chief for eight years, the assistant chief of operations for two years, the assistant chief of planning and logistics and as the fire marshal.

Prior to working with SFMD, he worked five years as a firefighter for Rural/Metro Fire Department.

“In Chief Farber’s short time as the interim fire chief he has added a second engine company to respond out of Fire Station 263 at Idaho Road and 16th Avenue in Apache Junction,” Richard Ochs, SFMD assistant chief of planning and logistics, said in a release.

“The addition of this second company has reduced response times, reduced fire loss, increased firefighter safety and will undoubtedly increase survivability,” he said.

“Chief Farber has also stabilized the district’s budget and worked closely with the labor group to establish a memorandum of understanding,” Assistant Chef Ochs said.

Chief Farber is working on a doctoral degree in performance management at Grand Canyon University.

He has a master’s degree from the University of Phoenix, a bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University and an associate degree in fire science.

He is a graduate of the certified public managers program at Arizona State University, graduate of the community risk reduction program at the National Fire Academy, has a national certification for incident safety officer from the Fire Department Safety Officers Association, has an incident commander certification from Blue Card Command Training and has been a paramedic and hazardous material technician for more than 28 years.

Throughout his career, Chief Farber has been an advocate of education in the fire service and has served as a member of the Mesa Community College Curriculum Committee and Fire Science Advisory Committee.

Chief Farber taught courses at Mesa Community College and at Central Arizona Community College in tactics, hydraulics, supervision, college algebra and communication for more than 20 years.

He has responded to major wildland fires around the country, and is certified as a strike team/task force leader and structural protection specialist for the wildland team.

He serves as the SFMD liaison for the city of Apache Junction Emergency Operation Center and has developed several programs and policies for pandemics such as the bird flu that was implemented for the city of Apache Junction.

Chief Farber is active in the community and has coached running backs and defensive backs for the freshman football team at Apache Junction High School.

Chief Farber is on the board of directors for Horizon Health and Wellness and a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs. He has three daughters, one son (who is a captain at SFMD) and six grandchildren.

The fire district encompasses 62 square miles. It provides fire suppression, fire prevention, wildland protection, advanced life support, rescue, extrication and medical transportation services out of five fire stations: Fire Station 261, 1135 W Superstition Blvd. in Apache Junction; Fire Station 262, 3955 E. Superstition Blvd. in Apache Junction; Fire Station 263, 1645 S. Idaho Road in Apache Junction; Fire Station 264, 7557 E. U.S. Highway 60 in Gold Canyon; and Fire Station 265, 9294 E. Don Donnelly Trail in Gold Canyon.

The Apache Junction Independent is mailed each month to 35,000 homes.

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