The interim chief of the Billings Fire Department has been granted the permanent position.
Bill Rash had been the department's interim chief since July 5, when former Chief Paul Dextras retired. Billings Interim City Administrator Bruce McCandless announced the appointment Thursday.
“I’m genuinely impressed with Chief Rash’s knowledge and experience," McCandless said in a press release. "He served effectively as interim chief for eight months — a long time to be in a transitional role that has many challenges."
Over 40 years, Rash has been a law enforcement officer and a firefigher. He began as a volunteer firefighter in 1978 with the Central Valley Fire District in Belgrade. At that time, he was also a Gallatin County Sheriff's deputy.
Rash became Billings' assistant fire chief in 2014.