Fire season puts a strain on volunteer fire fighters - KULR8.com | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

Fire season puts a strain on volunteer fire fighters

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

Monday, we spoke about how the Bureau of Land Management handles this busy fire season. Tuesday, KULR 8's Briana Monte spoke with the Shepherd Volunteer Fire Department to find out how they handle the strain of the busy fire season.


Phillip Ehler is the fire chief of the Shepherd Volunteer Fire Department and said it's been very taxing especially now that the season is getting more grass fires. He said the best way to fight fires during its busiest time is communicating with other fire departments nearby and helping each other out by offering manpower for one another. He also said volunteer firefighters are unique in that being a firefighter is not their main job. Fire Chief Ehler said that most of his crew members which consists of 37 volunteer firefighters have full-time jobs outside of the fire department.


"They get off work and then go fight fire or go do medical calls," Ehler said. "So sometimes they get done with work and, you  know, they've had a bad day at work and then the pager goes off so the number of volunteers that are available. It's getting more and more stretched."


Ehler said they can always use more men at the station. Teens as young as 16 can apply for the junior program.

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