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Are You Fire Ready, Montana?

by Andee D.

During United We Serve's Safety and Security Week, the Montana Governor's Office of Community Service had a great time in Lockwood on the last day of our Fire Ready Montana tour! It was a beautiful day and all the local fire and emergency officials were there, along with several community booths. Residents came out with their kids to meet Smokey Bear and enjoy the fire truck demonstrations. It truly was a community event!

More than 40 people attended and heard remarks from William Rash, Fire Chief, Lockwood Fire District; Crystal Hagerman, FireSafe Montana; Jim Kraft, Yellowstone County Disaster and Emergency Services; and Artis Brandt, a Lockwood resident. Artis has been through two major fires in Lockwood and was given 20 minutes to evacuate during the Emerald Hills fire in 2006. Thanks to firefighters, her home was saved – not once, but twice. Unfortunately, two of her neighbors were not so lucky.

“Our hope is that we all take care of our property because if one is okay, the next one will be okay. By taking care of our individual property areas, all Lockwood residents can be safer,” said Brandt. “I hope this event will grow in the future and we will have it every year to remind us to always be prepared. We are all going forward as a community and our success will be readiness,” she added.

We also held the Map Your Neighborhood training and were grateful to have Robert Guenther of the Lockwood Fire Department participate with residents. Ryan Sylva, Regional Program Coordinator for the Montana Conservation Corps was also on hand to talk about AmeriCorps and all of the great work the Montana Conservation Corps is doing across the state.

Sheri Centifan, an AmeriCorps VISTA serving with the United Way as the Disaster Services Coordinator participated in the Map Your Neighborhood training. “We have started coordinating Map Your Neighborhood training programs throughout Yellowstone County. We have a group of volunteers that are trained to teach the program to area residents. We look forward to working with communities and helping them become better prepared,” said Centifan.

We appreciate FireSafe Montana, the Lockwood Fire District, and Lockwood School for bringing the Fire Ready Montana tour to the community. Special thanks to all of the community residents and volunteers for making it happen.

Click here to read more Safety and Security stories.

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