Emergency calls on a dangerous stretch of interstate, west of Missoula, could go unanswered if two volunteer fire districts can't work out their issues with the Montana Highway Patrol.
The area covers a 42-mile stretch of Interstate 90 from the Idaho stateline past St. Regis.
The West End and St. Regis volunteer fire departments each respond to about one hundred emergency calls a year in that area.
Dash-cam video provided by the Montana Highway Patrol shows an MHP trooper approaching a crash being handled by the West End Volunteer Fire Department.
MHP officials have reviewed the video, and say the trooper was following procedure, but West End Fire Chief Bruce Charles says the trooper drove through the accident scene too fast, and he says it's happened before.
"I've actually had highway patrolmen chew out my flaggers, because they were trying to slow them down."
Charles says he?s brought up several ongoing concerns with MHP and Mineral County officials and says the concerns still haven?t been addressed.
Charles says he and St. Regis Fire have a list of conditions for MHP troopers that includes obeying directions from traffic flaggers when approaching an accident, and treating department volunteers with courtesy and respect. Charles says if they aren?t met, the two fire departments will stop responding to I-90 emergency calls.
"We're shutting down Wednesday at midnight. We will simply not go out to the highway to do any crash rescue," said Charles.
MHP Colonel Michael Tooley says his troopers already follow the conditions outlined by the fire departments.
"The three things that Chief Charles and Chief Dockter said they wanted to see from the highway patrol, we already do those things," said Tooley.
Tooley says that the conflicts between the troopers and the fire departments shouldn?t stop them from responding to calls.
"As far as them suspending their services, I am disappointed if that actually happens, because it's really not the motoring public's fault that we have a personality conflict," said Tooley.
Chief Charles says if they do suspend service, they'll still respond to calls from the Mineral County Sheriff's department.
The two fire chiefs plan to meet with Mineral County Commissioners Wednesday afternoon.
To see a copy of the conditions Chief Charles provided NBC Montana, click here.