Back-to-back calls leave Missoula Fire temporarily without resources on Thursday

Back-to-back calls left the Missoula Fire Department without available units to respond to new emergencies on Thursday morning, something that’s become a consistent problem in the department as its resources are spread thin.

Crews were dispatched to a CPR call and minutes later a structure fire call in the Lewis and Clark neighborhood came in, said Missoula Fire Department Assistant Chief Philip Keating. He was headed into work when the calls showed up.

“Every engine in the city was tied up on a call,” he told the Missoulian on Friday.

Crews respond to a structure fire in an apartment complex on Yreka Court in Missoula in January.


CPR responses require one battalion chief and two engines, Keating explained. MFD was left without enough personnel to provide a full structure fire response, which is usually three engines, a ladder truck and a battalion chief. It took about 15 minutes until crews arrived on scene and determined there weren’t any active flames, which is when MFD started to clear up staff for other calls.

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