Since 1988, the Lockwood Fire District was formed and has been operating in its current location. Some 20+ years later, the Lockwood Fire department has been providing a service to the biggest unincorporated town in Montana, Lockwood out of their humble beginnings off Driftwood Lane in Lockwood.
In a Fire Board meeting last spring and over the recent years, Chief Rash said that he was instructed to look at all the options in trying to find a new location and more space to host their office, fire house, fire and brush truck as well as water tenders. With a slew of other emergency equipment, vehicles, ambulances, and more, Lockwood Fire has grown at the seems. In fact, they are busting at the seems in what they are doing with the space they have so there was a necessary need.
Currently, one of the garages that hosts a truck is moved outside when the firefighters need to use it as a weight/training room. On other occasions, the same garage is used to host meetings. Each month, the Fire Board of Directors with Chief Rash conduct a monthly board meeting in the garage as there is not enough space at the tiny location off Driftwood and Old Hardin Road which is a reminder of the need to grow and expand.
As Chief Bill Rash examined the many options, it was made clear that the fire board and management decided to plan for the future as they learned to live within their means with a budget they had over the years in saving and planning for the future of a Lockwood Fire Station. Chief Rash said that he did not want to have to go to the citizens of Lockwood and ask for money and they started planning and saving for the future. The ground was purchased and now the Fire Department is planning to build the Fire station off 511 Johnson Lane. As it is a great and convenient location for a positioned fire station, it will provide more room for fire trucks and ambulances as well as conference rooms and meeting space for the Fire Department’s needs.
The Fire Department is a couple years ahead of schedule and are pleased with the progress that has been made, even at a time of a slow economy. The project is planned to take about 1 1/2 years to 2 years to complete once ground is broke. As the final details are still being inked, final plans to move forward are well in the works.
The LRFD currently employs 14 fulltime career firefighters to include the chief, along with 1 administrative assistant. There is always a minimum of 3 firefighter/EMTs (captain, engineer & firefighter/paramedic) on duty 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. All LRFD firefighters, to include the chief, are required to be Emergency Medical Technicians. LRFD firefighters have EMT certification levels that vary from EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate to EMT-Paramedic. The LRFD currently has over 9,000 permanent residents along with several thousand people who commute and work within the district. The LRFD is comprised of over 80 square miles of coverage area with an anticipated increase of 30,000 acres of wildland fire protection area as contracted with Yellowstone County (effective July 1, 2009)