Ferguson tabbed as new fire chief

City officials announced this week Craig Ferguson will step in as fire chief for the Big Spring Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services, taking over for Brian Jensen, who retired from the position in January.Big Spring City Manager Gary Fuqua made the announcement Wednesday, ending the search that began when Jensen retired after more than 23 years with the BSFD.According to Fuqua, Ferguson was chosen by the Big Spring Selection Committee for the position from more than 28 applicants.Ferguson said he's excited to accept the position and is looking forward to the new opportunity.“I feel like this is definitely an opportunity for growth and experience,” Ferguson said. “We have plenty of challenges to meet in the coming years.”The biggest challenge facing the Big Spring Fire Department, in Ferguson's opinion, is personnel retention and longevity, a matter he hopes to be able to address in his tenure.“It's definitely an issue in our industry, especially with the oil boom pulling guys away to the oilfield,” Ferguson said. “We have to look at ways to address it, as well as education and training. This isn't something we're going to be able to fix overnight. We only hire the best. However, we're ready to work toward a solution.”Ferguson began his career as a firefighter and paramedic in 1999 with the city of Midland’s fire department, before joining the BSFD in 2001. He worked his way from firefighter and paramedic up to operations lieutenant and has now assumed the position of fire chief.He holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Texas Tech University, as well as numerous certifications, including NIMS and ICS, hazmat, simple triage and rapid treatment (START), first responder radiological transportation, and AHA pediatric advanced cardiac life support, among others.Ferguson, his wife Stephanie and their two children are long-time residents of Howard County.