Mike Farber has been named the 11th fire chief in the 63 year history of the Superstition Fire & Medical District (SFMD) after serving in the interim fire chief position for the past 10 months.
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 Rd. and 16th Ave. in Apache Junction. The addition of this second company has reduced response times, reduced fire loss, increased firefighter safety and will undoubtedly increase survivability. Chief Farber has also stabilized the district’s budget and worked closely with the labor group to establish a Memorandum of Understanding.
Chief Farber has 38 years of experience in fire service, including the first five years of his career as a firefighter for Rural/Metro Fire Department. He has been with SFMD for the last 33 years. During his time in the district, he served as a ladder and engine company captain/paramedic for 12 years, a battalion chief for 8 years, the assistant chief of operations for 2 years, the assistant chief of planning & logistics and fire marshal.
Chief Farber’s education background includes work on his doctoral degree in Performance Management at Grand Canyon University, a masters degree from University of Phoenix, a bachelors degree from Northern Arizona University, an associates degree in Fire Science, a Public Managers Program certificate from Arizona State University, Community Risk Reduction Program grad from National Fire Academy, national certification for incident safety officer – Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA), incident commander certification – Blue Card Command Training, and paramedic and hazardous material technician for over 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 over 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. Farber 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, which were implemented for the city of Apache Junction.
Chief Farber has always been 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 currently 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.