first response

GREAT FALLS- Last weekend’s crash was a traumatic incident not only for those involved, but friends and family as well.

Despite the negative impacts seen by the crash, Great Falls Fire Rescue Chief Steve Hester says the incident has only made their fire house family stronger.

Red and blue made purple over the weekend as both departments sat in the hospital, waiting to hear about their injured comrades.

Now, a few days later, Hester says he's already received calls from those injured; asking to come back to work.

Unfortunately though, it’ll be months before that request becomes a reality.

Last weekend's crash had a major ripple effect for first response personnel, opening their eyes to just how fragile life really is.

“I suppose all of us kind of think, wow, that could have been me because it was such an odd, no big deal call. You know, us assisting the P.D. happens all the time... And then out of nowhere comes a car; you know, how do you predict that? You could be struck by lightning, bit by a snake, attacked by a shark, or someone could drive through your emergency scene and hurt you... Wow,” explains Hester, the GFFR Chief.

Hester continued to explain one of the biggest questions on their minds is why.... Why did this happen?

Perhaps the hardest part is there wasn't a way to prepare for something like this, and there isn't a way to stop it from happening again.

For now though, they're simply counting their blessings.

Despite several firefighters missing from the ranks, Hester says every station will continue to be fully staffed over the next several months.

One of the best ways you can help is by contacting the International Association of Firefighters: http://local8iaff.org/

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