The Helena Fire Department (HFD) will now be the primary responding agency to fire calls on Montana National Guard property at Fort William H. Harrison.
The City of Helena was awarded an annual contract of $317,000 which can be renewed for up to seven years.
Services will include structure and wildland fire suppression, emergency medical services (EMS) and handling hazardous materials.
HFD will also assist with fire inspection services and fire planning.
“We’ve been coming out out here for some time in the past and now it’s just we’re primary and we have mutual aid agreements with the VA and rural fire,” said Chief Ken Wood, HFD. “Anytime we can partner up and help our community [is good]. Being able to help take care of the Fort is awesome.”
Fire suppression was previously provided by the Fort Harrison VA Fire Department, but the VA recently determined they could no longer provide that coverage.
Montana National Guard Operations and Maintenance Branch Manager Chris Denning said they already have a good relationship with HFD and are looking forward to the new partnership.
“We have about 750,000 square feet of facilities,” said Denning. “We appreciate the City of Helena Fire Department for stepping up and helping us out with all of our firefighting needs.”
Funds from the new contract will go to paying for HFD personal overtime, training and apparatus maintenance.
There are no plans to hire additional personnel at this time