Red Lodge Fire Rescue is a combined district that serves a unique and vibrant community, and we are proud to provide a level of comprehensive services that’s not often found in communities our size.
We could not do what we do without a dedicated staff. Our volunteers are always willing to give of their time and are some of the most enthusiastic, thoughtful and generous people I know. Our career staff is equally impressive in their dedication, professionalism, and focus.
Our community also plays an important role in what we do. I’m overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of the people who live here. At every turn, members of the community are ready to help. They donate their time and money, and turn out to help families affected by fire and other devastating emergencies.
I speak for everyone in the department when I say we are deeply honored to serve the community where we live, and grateful for every donation and word of thanks we receive. It is only with the support of the community that we are able to provide the level of service that we do.
Tom Kuntz, Fire Chief
Red Lodge Fire Rescue
Known for its scenic mountain vistas, year-round recreation opportunities, and vibrant social scene, Red Lodge is unique – and so are its emergency response needs. The City of Red Lodge and our surrounding Carbon County service area - including Red Lodge Rural Fire District 7 and the Red Lodge - Roberts Ambulance District - is home to approximately 3,500 residents, but in the summer and winter tourist seasons, visitors can outnumber residents.
Red Lodge Fire Rescue consists of three operational divisions - Fire, EMS and Search and Rescue - as well as a Support Division and administrative personnel. We respond to approximately 700 - 800 calls for service annually within our service areas which include the City of Red Lodge, Red Lodge Rural Fire District 7 and the Red Lodge - Roberts Ambulance District. We respond to calls for structure and wildland fires, motor vehicle accidents, emergency medical incidents, lost and injured hikers and much more.
The Fire, EMS, Search and Rescue and Support divisions are staffed by approximately 90 volunteers and 12 full-time and part-time paid staff. Volunteers are the backbone of each division and many of our volunteers participate in more than one division. Red Lodge Fire Rescue is proud to serve our community and is honored to receive the incredible support given by our community.
Serving Our Community for Over 100 Years
Red Lodge Fire Rescue and its predecessors have provided emergency services to the Red Lodge community since 1902. In the early days, fire responses included a single horse-drawn hose cart and volunteer bucket brigade.
For decades, the Red Lodge Fire Department was housed in City Hall. With the acquisition of more modern equipment and an increase in volunteer and paid staff, the Fire Department outgrew its home in City Hall.
In 1988 the Dimich family donated the former Pepsi bottling plant at the intersection of Broadway and Highway 78 at the north end of Red Lodge for use as a fire station. That location has been the home of Red Lodge Fire Rescue ever since. Improvements have been made to the building using volunteer labor and donations from the community as well as local, state, and federal resources when available.
The Red Lodge Rural Fire Department was established in 1978. The Rural Fire Department originally serviced the surrounding area outside the Red Lodge city limits, but was assisted by the City Fire Department on many calls. Likewise, the firefighters with the Rural Fire Department occasionally assisted the City Fire Department when needed. The two fire departments eventually shared volunteers and equipment and were housed in the station located at the intersection of Broadway and Highway 78.
In 2010, the Red Lodge - Roberts Ambulance District was created with ambulances stationed at the fire station in Red Lodge and in Roberts. In 2015, the City Fire Department, the Rural Fire Department (Red Lodge Rural District 7) and the Red Lodge - Roberts Ambulance District entered into an agreement for the purpose of consolidating there respective operations under the umbrella of Red Lodge Fire Rescue. Carbon County Search and Rescue, which had operated under the Carbon County Sheriff’s Department, also joined the consolidation agreement in 2015.
Red Lodge Fire Rescue now consists of three operational divisions - the Fire Division, the EMS Division and the Search and Rescue Division. The Fire Chief of Red Lodge Fire Rescue has operational authority over each division.
Consolidation has allowed Red Lodge Fire Rescue to operate more efficiently on a smaller combined budget while still providing high-quality service. Red Lodge Fire Rescue has become a model for other departments across the state and region. Looking to the future, Red Lodge Fire Rescue will continue to be a progressive department, growing as the community grows.
TOP OF THE LINE EQUIPMENT
Red Lodge Fire and Rescue is privileged to use some of the most modern fire engines and apparatus and emergency response vehicles in the region. Our equipment was acquired with the support of the community through a variety of means. Most were purchased through community donations, while some were purchased through voter-approved mill levies. When possible, state and federal grants are used, and through careful budgeting, the department is able to keep the fleet up-to-date and maintained.