This Colstrip Fire Department Policies and Procedures Manual has been prepared as a guide, reference, and instruction manual for volunteers of the City Fire Department. This policies and procedures manual is not in any manner to be interpreted as a contract between the CITY OF COLSTRIP and any of its employees or volunteers.

This manual is to be used as a guidebook and instruction manual in the implementation of the many and varied daily tasks administered by the employees and volunteers of the City Fire Department. These procedures are Departmental procedures, relevant only to the Colstrip Fire Department.

The Colstrip Fire Department adopts and follows the Policies and Procedures Manual of the City of Colstrip and Montana Codes Annotated Title 7 Chapter 33 Part 41 (7-33-4104 through 4133) relevant to Municipal Fire Departments. The State law and City Policies take precedence over these Departmental Policies and Procedures.



Volunteers are continually being recruited to serve the community through involvement with the Colstrip Fire Department. Interested individuals are invited to complete an application. The initial application includes a general volunteer application form, a background check application form, list of references and other relevant information needed to determine if the applicant meets the criteria for a volunteer position.

Once all of the initial application materials are returned to the secretary of the fire department, she/he will secure a complete background check on the applicant. The secretary will place the review of the application on the fire board meeting agenda when all of the background information has been secured. The fire board and Chief will review the volunteer application at its board meeting and make a recommendation to recruit the applicant, reject the applicant, or request additional information to make a determination. All applicants must meet the eligibility requirements as stipulated by State Law, City of Colstrip and Colstrip Fire Department policies.

Applicants that the fire board recommends to be recruited will be offered the volunteer position contingent upon successful completion of a physical exam and drug/alcohol test. A physical exam and drug/alcohol test that has been used for employment purposes within the past twelve months may meet the criteria; however, the fire department reserves the right to request a physical exam and/or drug/alcohol test from a provider of their choice and at the department’s expense.

Applicants recommended by the Fire Board to be recruited and successfully completing the physical exam and drug/alcohol testing will be recommended to the Colstrip City Council for acceptance. Service will commence on the date approved by the Fire Board.



All new members of the department will serve a one-year probationary period. A preliminary review will be held with the member by the Fire Chief within the first year of membership. All new members of the department are required to complete 30 hours of basic firefighting training and respond to 10% of fire calls within the first year they are members of the department. All new firefighters are required to complete a fire department orientation. The time and place of the orientation will be determined by the Fire Chief.



The following equipment is issued to each firefighter. Each firefighter is responsible for the care and custody of their assigned equipment.

a. Structure Turnouts: Turnout coat, pants, gloves, helmet, hood, boots, Pal device & SCBA mask if applicable.

b. Wild land Gear; Jacket, pants, gloves, hood, helmet    

c. Pager and charger    

d. Hand tools    

e. Facility keys

All firefighters at the fire scene must wear full turnout equipment. Those firefighters not in proper gear will not be allowed in close proximity to the fire.

At all fire scenes, the use of self-contained breath apparatus (SCBA) is required for entry into buildings, or at any time when in close proximity to the fire and/or smoke.

No member of the department shall be the driver of a fire truck responding to a fire, until he has received complete training, and is capable of handling all operations of the fire truck. The driver of the fire truck shall assume supervisory control for that vehicle.

Unauthorized use of any fire department equipment for non-fire department use is prohibited.



Incident command procedures are used within the department. The ranking fire department officer at the fire scene shall assume the duties of the fire ground commander. The fire ground commander will make all decisions as to the method of attack of the fire, and shall have final authority and control of the fire scene. It is imperative that other volunteers follow the ground commander’s  instructions. Do not change the fire attack plan without first consulting with the fire ground commander.

On all structure fires, only those firefighters instructed by the fire ground commander shall enter a structure.

Sign in at the fire call sheet at the fire hall after the incident if you respond to the fire or if you were in standby. It is important for our records to know the number of firefighters that responded to the call.

When responding to, or while at a fire scene, remain CALM, use the technical knowledge you have received at training, and above all, USE YOUR COMMON SENSE.

All firefighters, while on fire department business, are covered under the fire departments worker’s compensation, liability and related insurance programs. Due to lack of insurance coverage, civilian assistance on fire department business – must never be allowed.

Thirty (30) hours of training per year and 10% of fire responses is mandatory to qualify towards retirement.

Any member of the fire department under the influence of, or who has recently consumed alcohol or drugs SHALL NOT drive or operate any fire equipment under any circumstances.

Any member determined to have responded to the incident in such a condition that safety of their self, other fire department personnel, or the public may be endangered, will be removed from the fire scene, and he/she may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the department.