Community raises funds to help Montana volunteer firefighters

Posted at 1:26 PM, Aug 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-20 15:26:56-04

First responders were out at Safeway on Monday to raise money for the Lewis and Clark Rural Fire Council.

The community has raised more than $17,000 for the Rural Fire Council in the past month, which will go to supporting volunteer fire departments in the area.

“They work hard, long hours in a thankless job,” Eric Dowell, Helena Safeway assistant manager. “If they’re out at a fire and they’re evacuating houses, not a lot of people are going to stop. So this is an opportunity for the public to come down and appreciate them in an environment where things aren’t hectic.”

One of the current projects by the Rural Fire Council is improving the radio repeaters the fire departments use to communicate in remote areas.

“The repeaters allow us to communicate where line of sight just doesn’t work,” explained Chief John Naylor, York Volunteer Fire Department. “You can’t talk through mountains. We need more repeaters out in the hills.”

Money raised will also go towards fund to help any of the volunteers should something happen when responding to an emergency.

“Everybody else is running out and the firefighters are running in. It is a dangerous situation that we put these firefighters in and we do our best to keep them as safe as we can,” said Naylor.

The Rural Fire Council are also looking for more men and women to serve as volunteer firefighters.

More information about how to donate to the Lewis and Clark Rural Fire Council and how to become a volunteer firefighter can be found here.