Who is going to fight the fire - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Who is going to fight the fire

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Panic and concern flooded social media last night after a post on Facebook said a local volunteer fire department would not be able to respond to calls after midnight. 

That is the Browning Volunteer Fire Department. But to first clear the air, Mike DesRosier the Glacier County Chairman said if there is a fire or an emergency situation there will be responders.

He wants the community to know no one is getting left out in the cold.  Now, who responds depends where the emergency is.

"We do have the Blackfeet Wildland Fire Department, East Glacier, Babb, and Cut Bank Fire Department so they all cover one another," said DesRosier
He added others are willing to come out of retirement to fight any fires that may arise.
 
Now the post that sparked the online blaze said in part the Browning Volunteer Fire Department will not be responding to fires after midnight because there's no insurance or workman's compensation. We reached out to Lyle Rutherford the Volunteer Fire Chief who made the post and did not get a response as of news time. 

However, DesRosier said Rutherford's claim is false.

"We approved the budget for the Browning Fire Department last year," said DesRosier.  

He also said the workman's comp is paid through March 31st and this was a standing agreement between the county and the tribe to make sure services would remain. 

Last September the town of Browning was dissolved and turned over to the tribe.  They have been working together to figure out the transition of county and tribal responsibilities.

"The tribes been great to work with in trying to handle and deal with the issues that come up including the workman's comp and insurance and the ownership. I know it takes time to to get everything in place," says DesRosier.

In a press release from the commission they state Rutherford knew about the upcoming changes in September of last year. they said he had months to address these issues  with the state, the tribe, and county. They claim he never did and the commission has no control over what happens in the Browning Volunteer Fire Department because it falls under tribal jurisdiction. 

But the big message is to the community is someone will respond to a fire or emergency if there is one. 

He claimed it was Rutherford's choice to suspend the services and he did not inform the tribe, the county or surrounding departments of his decision.
Again he has yet to respond to our request for an interview.

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