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The Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant was created to provide funding to departments and firefighter interest organizations in order to help increase the number of trained, front line firefighter available. The goal of the SAFER grant is to enhance local fire departments’ abilities to comply with staffing, response and operational standards established by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

In 2013, the Montana State Fire Chiefs Association (MSFCA) received a SAFER grant to assist fire departments throughout the state of Montana. The grant program strives to educate the public about the needs for volunteer firefighters through a comprehensive marketing campaign. The campaign consists of television, print, and online advertising. The grant program also provides a means for individuals interested in volunteering to submit their contact information to be linked with a department in their area.

Do you want to be a volunteer firefighter? Click here to access our fillable inquiry form.

Although standards vary from department to department, many require some of the basic qualifications listed below:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Hold a valid Montana driver’s license
  • Have a clean record
  • Respond to certain percentage of calls
  • Be healthy and in good physical condition

Time requirements vary by department. Time commitment will depend on several factors, such as the number of calls the department receives, training requirements, shift versus on-call structure, and community activities in which the department requires volunteers to participate. Volunteer departments prefer that volunteers have the ability to respond to calls 24 hours a day, although most departments still accept volunteers who are unable to leave work or other obligations to respond to a call.

Typically, departments pay for training and firefighting equipment. Volunteer firefighting is an unpaid position; however, some departments may provide stipends or reimburse volunteers for certain expenses.

*Volunteer requirements differ by department. If you have a specific question about requirements in your area, please email [email protected]. Make sure to include your name & address in your email!