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Department History

Red Lodge Fire Rescue and its predecessors have provided emergency services to the Red Lodge community since 1902.  In the early days, fire responses included a single horse-drawn hose cart and volunteer bucket brigade.

For decades, the Red Lodge Fire Department was housed in City Hall.  With the acquisition of more modern equipment and an increase in volunteer and paid staff, the Fire Department outgrew its home in City Hall.

In 1988 the Dimich family donated the former Pepsi bottling plant at the intersection of Broadway and Highway 78 at the north end of Red Lodge for use as a fire station.  That location has been the home of Red Lodge Fire Rescue ever since.  Improvements have been made to the building using volunteer labor and donations from the community as well as local, state, and federal resources when available.  

The Red Lodge Rural Fire Department was established in 1978.  The Rural Fire Department originally serviced the surrounding area outside the Red Lodge city limits, but was assisted by the City Fire Department on many calls.  Likewise, the firefighters with the Rural Fire Department occasionally assisted the City Fire Department when needed.  The two fire departments eventually shared volunteers and equipment and were housed in the station located at the intersection of Broadway and Highway 78.

In 2010, the Red Lodge - Roberts Ambulance District was created with ambulances stationed at the fire station in Red Lodge and in Roberts. 

In 2015, the City Fire Department, the Rural Fire Department (Red Lodge Rural District 7) and the Red Lodge - Roberts Ambulance District entered into an agreement for the purpose of consolidating there respective operations under the umbrella of Red Lodge Fire Rescue.  Carbon County Search and Rescue, which had operated under the Carbon County Sheriff’s Department, also joined the consolidation agreement in 2015.

Red Lodge Fire Rescue now consists of three operational divisions - the Fire Division, the EMS Division and the Search and Rescue Division.  The Fire Chief of Red Lodge Fire Rescue has operational authority over each division.

Consolidation has allowed Red Lodge Fire Rescue to operate more efficiently on a smaller combined budget while still providing high-quality service.  Red Lodge Fire Rescue has become a model for other departments across the state and region.

Looking to the future, Red Lodge Fire Rescue will continue to be a progressive department, growing as the community grows.