Automatic aid agreement allows rural fire dept. to get instant help


Automatic aid agreement allows rural fire dept. to get instant help

BOZEMAN, Mont. - Rae and Sourdough fire departments returned to the scene of a fire that burned down a garage Tuesday. The resident called 911 again after seeing the structure smolder and spark.

Fire crews were on scene for just about 30 minutes as they doused the building with more water to put out any remaining hot spots. Those who live in the home tell us they plan to demolish the structure within the next few days.

At least five fire crews responded Tuesday afternoon. The blaze was in the Rae Fire District, but it wasn't one of their trucks that was first on scene.  Rae Fire Chief Jason Revisky tells us that is because of an automatic aid agreement they have with a handful of other fire departments.

"We've already had them pre-programmed in there, that when there is a structure fire, they just don't page us, they page Ft. Ellis, they page Central Valley," said Revisky.

Revisky explains the agreement that has been in place in Rae-Sourdough for decades. They reached out to fire departments -- "Gallatin Gateway Fire Department, Central Valley Fire Department, Fort Ellis Fire Department, and Amsterdam Fire Department," said Revisky.

They then came to an agreement that when they need help in the Rae and Sourdough fire districts, those stations would come too, no questions asked.

"In our fire district, we want zero delays and making sure we have adequate services," said Revisky.

Tuesday's garage fire happened on a road located at the edge of Rae fire district. A Gallatin County GIS map shows just how close the home is to the fire district boundary.  

Rae is not the closest fire station to the home, but Revisky says that is why this automatic aid agreement is beneficial to residents, because nearby stations that this home borders, like Gallatin Gateway and Central Valley, will automatically get paged.

"Typically we have more resources that we need, but that's too late once you figure out you need more resources," said Revisky.

Revisky says this is something they will continue to do in order to make sure residents in their rural fire district can get the quickest response times.

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