Posted: May 24, 2013 7:00 PM by Judy Slate - MTN News
Updated: May 24, 2013 7:17 PM
After a majority of their force called it quits, the Bridger Canyon Fire Department is looking for recruits.
Earlier this week, the fire chief quit and was later followed out the door by about 15 volunteer fire fighters.
"I will do anything for the Bridger Canyon Fire department," said Pauline Sager. She's just one of the Bridger Canyon residents volunteering at the fire station.
"We're inventorying the suits, cleaning the suits, so that as we recruit new firefighters they'll be nice and clean organized equipment for them," she said.
"Its very disappointing," said Mike Conn, chairman of the board of trustees, about the events. "But the board tried very hard to have extended multiple offers for mediation dispute. No favorable response, so we gotta move on."
The department is down to just 8 fire fighters and there have been some questions about the response time for crisis events. Conn said residents shouldn't be too concerned.
"Your staffing on trucks is 3 on some and others are two," said Conn. "We should be able to still roll an adequate response and the mutual aid from Bozeman and surrounding districts."
About 1,600 people live in the district and there are more than 400 homes. Though the department is short-staffed for now, some in the community think the changes may be positive in the long run.
"Because what it's done, the community is much more aware now of the department and much more forthcoming to help," said Conn.
"We're sad were in this situation, we're grateful to the people who served us previously but we need to move on and start again and that's what we're doing," echoed Sager.
Officials said one way the community can help is to mark their calendar for The Bridger Canyon Pancake Breakfast on June 23.
A statement from the board can be found here.