It seems like volunteer fire departments are always begging for money. There are good reasons for that.
Volunteer fire departments depend on three main sources of revenue: taxes, grants, and donations.
Tax dollars alone are not sufficient to support most departments including Gallatin River Ranch Rural Fire District (GRRRFD).
Grants can provide some support. They were critical to the initial acquisition of apparatus and equipment. However, grant money is difficult to get and complex to manage. The GRRRFD is a very small district, with less than 100 structures and a small population and fortunately has a very low call volume. These put GRRRFD at a disadvantage compared to larger busier department competing for limited grant money. Bigger, busier departments have a distinct advantage with larger federal grants. The best GRRRFD can hope for is to succeed in getting smaller grants.
Donations from Fire District residents is our most important supplement to tax revenues.
Contributions to Gallatin River Ranch Rural Fire District are deductible under Section 170(c)(1) of the IRS code.
The Gallatin River Ranch Fire Department needs a few good firefighters!
The Volunteer Firefighter team trains for and deploys in the event of an emergency medical call, structure and wildland fires, and rescue calls. Members of this team train participate in one “in house” two-hour training drill each month, the day and time vary with member availability, and train with the Manhattan Volunteer Fire Department at least once a month, with the opportunity to participate in three trainings per month with Manhattan. The MVFD training sessions are between 7-9 pm on the first three Tuesdays of each month. They also participate in training activities with regional firefighting partners.
Our fire department participates in and benefits from mutual aid agreements with the other fire departments in Gallatin County. Our firefighters help respond to fires throughout the county when requested. To date, this has mostly involved wildland fires.
New members are on a probationary status for the first six months of membership and undertake their initial training with the Manhattan Volunteer Fire Department. This training takes place each Tuesday from 6 – 9 pm. All active firefighters are expected to attend a minimum of 3o hours of department training a year; at least 50% of regularly scheduled twice-monthly training drills. They must participate in at least 30% of department calls. Firefighters are issued a pager, radio, and personal protective equipment.
Firefighting is not for everyone. It is a strenuous activity that requires good cardiovascular health, a strong back and musculoskeletal system, and a clear mind. That said, we have roles within the department that may accommodate otherwise qualified individuals who have some limitations. People interested in serving the community in the fire department who have limitations that might pose a problem as a Firefighter should consider Reserve membership.
Contact us at [email protected] to apply. The application process includes submitting an application, a photocopy of your Montana driver license, and undergoing a criminal and Montana driving background check with First Choice Background Checks after an interview.
Firefighters are covered by the District’s liability insurance policy, Montana Worker’s Compensation, and two Accidental Death and Dismemberment policies. The District pays for their membership in the National Volunteer Fire Council and will pay 75% of the cost of membership at the Manhattan Athletic Club.
The Gallatin River Ranch Fire Department needs a few good Reserve Members!
Perhaps you have a medical, firefighting, or law enforcement background, don’t want to become a volunteer firefighter–the Reserve may be for you. We can use your skills and knowledge without making the full commitment to be a volunteer firefighter. This is a great way to use your previously-acquired skills to benefit the community!
Reserve Members perform a number of critical department functions that do not require the full training or capability of an Active Volunteer Firefighter. The three fundamental reserve functions are to serve as “Follow Me” drivers, water source pump operators, and traffic managers.
Other opportunities exist depending on a reservist’s interest and background. The department is particularly interested in people with prior training and experience in firefighting, search and rescue, law enforcement, or medical services. Reservists with prior medical training including physicians, nurses, or EMTs can participate as a part of the care team in medical calls as long as they have active Montana licenses.
Reservists may participate in apparatus inspections and station cleaning on the first Saturday of each month. They are an intrinsic part of radio response training. We have occasional combined drills where both reservists and active firefighters do a joint field exercise. Reservists may apply for department support to pursue additional training to enhance their skill set and ability to participate in certain department activities, such as EMT training. The time commitment is roughly one or two hours per month. Reservists do not participate in mutual aid calls outside the GRR Rural Fire District.
Reserve members are covered by the Fire District’s liability insurance program as well as Montana Worker’s Compensation for any duty-related incidents. The Fire District also provides Accidental Death and Dismemberment insurance.
To learn more or apply, contact us at [email protected].
The Gallatin River Ranch Fire Department needs a few good Auxiliary Members!
Auxiliary Members help in a number of important department functions. The main functions of the auxiliary are to: procure and prepare food and drink for firefighters engaged in a large incident on GRR; to set up a firefighter rehabilitation site in such an event; and to help organize social engagement events.
Firefighting is a strenuous activity that leads to heat stress and dehydration. Firefighters battling structure or wildland fires need a safe break area where they can cool off in hot weather or get shelter in winter or rainstorms. They need to rest, sit down, possibly lie down, hydrate, and get something to eat at a safe place away from the incident. This is known as a firefighter rehab site. The auxiliary team is trained to set up and manage rehab sites.
The GRR Fire District contributes to the community by organizing a Firefighter Appreciation Picnic once a year to enable members of the public to meet with their firefighters, reservists, and auxiliary members. Department members also organize a Fire Department Pancake Breakfast at the GRRHOA Annual Homeowner Meeting in August.
The auxiliary is not a gender-based group. Those interested in joining the auxiliary should contact [email protected].