Lockwood’s Fire Chief Bill Rash has accepted a job with the Billings Fire Department as the new Assistant Fire Chief. He will be replacing Frank Odermann, who resigned last November 2013 from the Billings Fire Department.
Rash will be leaving after 7 years with the Lockwood Fire Department where he served the citizens in Lockwood as Fire Chief while balancing a budget deficit and resources.
The departure and new changes at the Lockwood Fire District come as new fire board members were elected. Lockwood residents Frosty Erban and Tim Sperry were elected to the Lockwood Fire District Board of Directors last week in a runoff election to fill the two vacant positions. Chairman Don Cantrell resigned on May 1st which opened up a third position on the board which is expected to be filled by appointment by the Yellowstone County Commissioners in the future.
As Rash is departing, he is expected to recommend an interim chief while the fire department is among a transition for a new fire station and building along Johnson lane where Rash hopes to assist in the new fire station transition.
Bids for the new fire station and building are expected to go out in June of this year. The district has been planning for a good number of years for the transition and new fire station so that the burden on the taxpayers is minimal. Chief Rash reported in a previous board meeting two years ago that the district was saving up for the new fire station and working within a budget of which took some years to balance but he was pleased with the progress and fiscal approach the board and fire district has taken to get to currently.
Rash was named the Montana Fire Chief of the Year in January according to the Montana Career Fire Chiefs Association as well as is currently the chairman of the Yellowstone County Fire Council. With 22 years of law enforcement and previous years as Fire chief in other locations throughout Montana, Fire Chief Bill Rash will be moving on, but not too far away to Billings.