St. Ignatius fire crew opens house to community
ST. IGNATIUS — The St. Ignatius Volunteer Fire Department opened their doors to the public on Saturday and served up lunch to let community members learn about the department and ask questions.
“If anyone is interested in volunteering, we are taking applications,” said St. Ignatius Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jeremiah Morigeau.
Community members looked at two structure trucks, a brush truck, the Jaws of Life, a water tanker, and fire gear. The St. Ignatius Fire Auxiliary volunteers provided the food that included hotdogs and hamburgers.
Volunteer Firefighter Matt Hout brought his kids to the event. He showed his daughter Peyton Hout, 6, the different alarm signals in the ambulance. She pushed the button to turn on the siren with a big smile on her face. His son, Ronson Hout, sat on the back of one of the trucks eating a snack during the event. Ronson said the fire department helps save people.
“My dad sometimes goes to a fire in the middle of the night, and I want to go, too,” he said. “I want to spray the water and drive the trucks.”
Chief Morigeau talked to people during the event and pulled out a few pieces of equipment for them to see. The boots, hats and air tanks were on a table inside the fire hall. He says it’s important for the town to have the emergency service to respond to fires, car crashes, and other emergencies. He said he puts in a lot of volunteer hours but it’s worth it.
“I like helping the community,” he said. “People have a look of relief when they see us during an emergency, and we do as much as we can to help. I really like being able to help people.”
The fire crew usually volunteers their time, but with this year’s extreme fire season, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes is paying the crew and contracting out a few of the trucks. “Every fire department is helping out,” he said.
The St. Ignatius crew is scheduled as the initial attack team for fires in the area from noon until 8 p.m. “We are still taking our regular calls, but we are also on call with the tribe,” he said.
If anyone is interested in volunteering with the department, call Morigeau at 406-240-1810.
“We have something for everyone,” he said. “There are things people can do if they don’t want to physically put out the fire. We could always use more help.”
The department’s volunteers currently consist of Jeremiah Morigeau, Joe Mitchell, Sue Green, Willie Long, Ray Frey, Mark Couture, Tana Couture, Bobby Jensen, Bonnie Clark, Scott Morton, Greg Gould, Matt Hout, Brandon Smith, Sean Mullins, Reece Bailey, Paul Adams, Ellie McLeod, Sheldon Shepherd, and David Tammen.