Fire Department

Helena Fire Tower at night

Mission Statement

The members of the Helena Fire Department proudly continue the tradition as Guardians of the Gulch, by professionally providing a quality, effective, skillful, safe and caring service to protect our community whenever and wherever needed.

Membership Statement

The Helena Fire Department is a proud member of the Lewis and Clark Rural Fire Council and the Tri-County Fire Safe Working Group.


Individuals interested in becoming a firefighter with the City of Helena MUST provide as part of the application process a passed physical agility test (CPAT) completed within the previous 12 months. Testing in Montana is provided through the Montana Firefighter Testing Consortium (MFTC) with testing dates and additional information being found at When a position is available, individuals can apply through the City of Helena website. Follow Montana Firefighter Testing Consortium on Facebook.

2024 Spring Montana Firefighter Testing Consortium (MFTC) Testing Dates

The Montana Firefighter Testing Consortium (MFTC) conducts firefighter testing for employment with any of the departments belonging to the Consortium. Departments that are members of the MFTC are Big Sky FD, Billings FD, Bozeman FD, Butte-Silver Bow FD, Central Valley (Belgrade area) FD, Frenchtown FD, Kalispell FD, Great Falls FD, Havre FD, Helena FD, Lockwood FD, Miles City FD, Missoula FD, and Missoula Rural FD.

MFTC requires candidates to successfully complete the CPAT Testing within one year prior to application.

CPAT events are scheduled in Billings, MT, annually. If you have never taken a CPAT Test, you are highly encouraged to participate in a free CPAT Orientation.

CPAT Orientation at Billings Metra Park Pavilion - Monday, April 22nd, 2024 (afternoon)

CPAT Practice Test at Billings Metra Park Pavilion - Tuesday, April 22nd, 2024 (afternoon)

CPAT at Billings Metra Park Pavilion - Tuesday, April 23rd, 2024 (ALL DAY)

TESTING DEADLINES: The MFTC's next testing deadline is April 17, 2024. The Consortium will test annually to keep the candidate pool current. Departments will review results as needed, as determined by the agency. Be sure to check each department profile to make sure you meet any department-specific deadline!

Departments will reach out to candidates on an as-needed basis. Be sure to be responsive to any agency requests!

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS: Montana Code 7-33-4107. Qualifications of firefighters. I've included the minimum requirements below (please note that some agencies have additional requirements, as indicated in their department profile).

Montana Firefighter Testing Consortium

Application deadline: April 17, 2024

Standard Operating Procedures / Guidelines

Unmanned Aerial Systems (Drone)(PDF, 160KB)
SHMRT Policy(PDF, 239KB) 

Strategic Planning

Fire Service Planning Committee Report 2007(PDF, 309KB)
Fire Protection Service Review 2006(PDF, 170KB)

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Helena Fire Department offer CPR training?

No. The American Red Cross and St. Peter's Hospital are possible contacts for classes.

Who offers Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) classes?

The EMS Bureau at the State of Montana is who you need to contact.

What does the Helena Fire Department offer for tours for the public?

Every year during Fire Prevention Week in October, the Helena School System brings in all 2nd graders for a fire prevention message and tour. In recent years, East Helena, Montana City, Clancy, Kessler, Townsend and Home Schools have also participated. We also have many daycares, preschools, scout groups and church groups that either come through for a tour or we go to their location for a presentation. You can request a station visit using this form.

Why do I need a smoke detector in my home?

If a fire occurs in the home while people are sleeping, the fire or smoke will not wake you up. Smoke puts you into a deep sleep. The purpose of the smoke detector is to wake you up and allow you ample time to exit the building.

Where do I install smoke detectors in my home?

Adjacent to each sleeping area and on every level of the home. It is also recommended that each sleeping area is provided with a smoke detector. You should follow the manufacturer's instructions for placement.

How often should I change the batteries in my smoke detector?

At least once a year. There is a national campaign in the fall that promotes change your clock, change your battery at the time change from daylight to standard time. We also encourage people to change their battery on a specific date that they can easily remember such as their birthday or New Year's Day.

How do I:

properly dispose of ashes?

Use a metal container with a lid! Plastic trash containers or garbage sacks are absolutely no good for ash removal. Cold ashes many times conceal hot embers within. These embers can smolder for days. Place your ashes in the container, lid it, and place it away from walls, papers, and other flammables. Let it sit for at least a week and dispose of them at the city landfill in the barrels marked ASHES or spread them in your garden. Remember: METAL CONTAINER WITH LID---COOL DOWN TIME---DISPOSE OF PROPERLY.

clean my chimney?

The National Fire Protection Agency suggests that you allow no more than 1/4 inch of creosote to build up before cleaning. Using your fireplace two to three times a week during the winter may accumulate that 1/4 inch every two years. Be smart. Have your chimney cleaned and inspected periodically by a professional chimney sweep to help prevent a fire. Burn small, hot fires to cut down on creosote buildup and increase the efficiency of your heating.

barbecue safely?

Never use gasoline to start or freshen a barbecue grill. Charcoal or propane gas barbecue grills should be used outside the house, camper or tent. Do not use them on a wood porch or deck. A heated grill should never be left unattended. Children should never play near a heated barbecue grill.

Dispose of old fire extinguishers, road flares or fireworks?


How does spring cleaning help fire protection?

Have you ever noticed on winter days when it's pouring buckets, you aren't too interested in going outside to throw something away? This results in a phenomenon known as winter clutter which leads to the spring cleaning, we all know about. Rags piled in basements, papers, books, old clothes, cluttered attics and garages all present a fire danger. In addition to being places where fires could start, these cluttered conditions contribute to the "fuel load". What this means is, a house that is neat and free of clutter will not burn nearly as fast as one which has a lot of stuff lying around. In fact, past experience proves that neat houses rarely burn.

What can I do to make the fire hydrant in my yard look better?

The City of Helena has over 1100 hydrants that need to be tested and maintained by the Water Utilities Dept. If you see a hydrant that is damaged or in need of painting, please call 457-8567. If you and your neighbors could help keep the hydrant visible and free from obstructions such as dirt, weeds or snow, it would help us greatly. Finding a hydrant at night can be harder than you think, and time is very important when a structure is on fire!

Why do emergency vehicles have difficulty finding a specific address?

A poorly marked address can delay emergency response time when minutes and seconds make a difference between life and death. Addresses covered by paint and shrubbery are hard to see. Night and weather conditions may affect their visibility also. Place numerals where they can be seen clearly from the street and paint them a color that contrasts with what they are mounted on. Mark both sides of a mailbox. When you call 911 with an emergency, give clear, concise directions and if possible, have someone go to the end of the driveway or the street to show us exactly where to go.