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White Sulphur Springs Fire

City Fire Chief Otto Ohlson  406.547.4610



Since it’s inception, the City of White Sulphur Springs has had an active Fire Department.   Some of the early day equipment is currently located in the Annex at the Castle Museum.   It would appear that from the early to mid-1900’s, the department consisted of two companies with hand pulled carts containing chemical pressurized extinguishers.   The first known ‘fire truck’ consisted of a 1930’s ‘hose truck’ (Chevrolet Pickup) used to carry hose and equipment to the fire. This equipment was stored in a much too small fire hall located in the down-town part of White Sulphur Springs.   This equipment was the sole fire truck until 1953 when the first pumper truck was purchased. 
The City of White Sulphur Springs was unique in that it had adequate hydrant pressure (over 100 psi static pressure) to operate a hose line without the assistance of a pumper truck.   While the available pressure at the end of the hose would not create a ‘fog stream’, it had adequate pressure to provide a minimal fire flow and provided fire protection to the City until the first pumper truck was purchased in 1952-1953.   Sometime during this time frame, the current White Sulphur Springs Volunteer Fire Department was established.   Volunteer Fire Departments, by law are permitted to have 28 members with benefits.   For many years, the Department had a full roster of firefighters.
Records would indicate that during the 1960’s, the White Sulphur Springs Volunteer Fire Department expanded it’s to provide the first Ambulance Service for Meagher County.   This service was continued into the 1970’s at which time, EMT’s took over the ambulance service.
Many communities during the 1900’s due to poor equipment, lack of training and early construction had catastrophic fires, often destroying major parts of the community.   It would appear that the City of White Sulphur Springs was spared from this catastrophe. Much of the credit should go to the early Volunteer Fire Department.
The White Sulphur Springs Fire Department has carried on this tradition of providing this valuable service to the Community of White Sulphur Springs.   In 1995, the aging 1952 Fire Truck was supplemented with a new Chevrolet Type I engine.   The new truck, increased the capability of the Department.   In addition, the department began an active training program, acquired much needed safety equipment including state of the art SCBA’s, new Turnout gear and communication equipment.   The Department formerly responded with a siren and telephone system in 7 individual homes.   This has been replaced by a 911 system with individual pagers permitting a faster response. With all these improvements, the ISO rating for the Department was raised from a Class 7 to a Class 6 rating resulting in significant reductions in fire insurance.
During the 1990’s, the Meagher County Rural Fire Department was organized. Automatic Mutual Aid agreements between the two departments increased the capabilities of both
Departments.   Grants have enabled acquiring additional equipment and expanded both Department’s capabilities into Rescue operations and wildfire/Urban Interface operations.   New, state-of-art extrication gear now enables the department to respond to other emergencies.   Both Departments train together and share resources, equipment and personnel. 
In 2006, the City of White Sulphur Springs finally replaced the original Engine 1 (the original 1952 Pumper Truck) with a new for White Sulphur Springs 1990 Ford Diesel Type 1 Engine. Bair Grants provided the major portion of the funding for this engine. The two type 1 Engines have significantly increased the capabilities of providing fire protection for the City of White Sulphur Springs.
For over a century, the White Sulphur Springs Fire Department has provided valuable fire protection to the City of White Sulphur Springs.   The original mission has been supplemented with providing ambulance assistance, rescue operations and assisting Meagher County Rural Department with their mission. As the future looms, the Volunteer responders will carry on this tradition and continue to provide this valuable resource to the residents of Meagher County.

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*Monthly Fire Meeting* Third Monday 7:00 pm Training Center


County Commissioners

Meets 1st, 2nd and 3rd Tuesday of the month

Court House

City Council

Meets 1st Monday of the month 7:00 pm

City Hall


Meets quarterly on the 2nd Tuesday 12:00 pm

Jan, April, July and Oct.

Training Center

City & County Fire

Meets every Third Monday 7:00 pm

Training Center

Grassy Mountain FD


At Training Center

Board Meeting.


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