HAMILTON — The Hamilton Volunteer Fire Department is a vital resource to the area and they have a three-pronged message to share with Hamilton residents: winter safety, joining the department and donating to their fundraising drive.
During times of cold weather, the Hamilton Volunteer Fire Department is encouraging citizens to use caution while heating their homes and outbuildings.
“We are asking people to pay attention to basic safety measures to help prevent a fire,” said Fire Chief Brad Mohn.
Mohn is a 30-year veteran of the Hamilton Volunteer Fire Department and has served as fire chief for 10 years.
He said there are some pretty simple steps people can take to reduce the chances of an accident.
First, keep your chimney and vents clean and have a qualified professional inspect and clean them at least once a year. Second, plug space heaters directly into outlets, never use an extension cord or power strip. Third, keep anything that can burn three feet away from a fireplace, wood stove or space heater. Finally, check your smoke/carbon monoxide detectors monthly and replace the batteries as needed.
“Following these precautions will make your home much safer,” Mohn said. “We are also asking city residents to keep snow and ice cleared from vents, gas meters and fire hydrants. If you have a fire hydrant adjacent to your property, please shovel snow away from it so the fire department can access it quickly if we have to.”
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The Hamilton Volunteer Fire Department has been providing fire protection to the community since 1897. Their response area covers 110 square miles with a population of approximately 15,000 residents. The fire department operates out of one city station and two rural stations. Currently, the HVFD has one fire chief and 27 volunteer firefighters.
“We are operating at a very high level with our current personnel, but we can always use more help,” Mohn said. “On average, each volunteer firefighter gives 220 plus hours per year in training and response to incidents. As Hamilton grows, so do the demands on the fire department. We are actively seeking volunteers and encourage people wanting to serve our community to apply.”
Applicants must be 21 years of age or older and should contact Fire Chief Brad Mohn at 406-360-4379 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Hamilton Volunteer Firefighters Association is currently conducting its annual fund drive. Hamilton residents should have received information and a self-addressed envelope in the mail earlier this month.
If you did not receive an envelope, you can still donate by sending a contribution to the Hamilton Volunteer Firefighters at P.O. Box 562, Hamilton, MT 59840. The money raised helps to purchase safety equipment for the firefighters. No gift is too small and all contributions are gratefully accepted.
“We at Hamilton Volunteer Fire Department are all proud to serve and we wish you a safe and happy holiday season,” Mohn said.