The annual fund drive for the Hamilton Volunteer Fire Department is underway.

Donation requests were mailed out this past week, and firemen will be visiting businesses to raise funds for the volunteer organization. The money helps equip the department and supplements the government funding for the larger needs such as trucks and hose.

Fire Chief Brad Mohn, in the annual fund letter, said the department has maintained a Protection Class 5 insurance rating, keeping insurance rates down. The 27 volunteer firemen average 300 hours each at the department - in training and answering emergency calls. The department maintains the main Fire Hall on South 3rd and State Streets in Hamilton and satellite stations at Grantsdale and Charlos Heights.

This year, they were again called upon to stand by for fire protection on nearby homes in danger from the Sawtooth Forest Fire.

Mohn said donations can be sent to PO Box 562, Hamilton MT 59840.