You may have received a letter from the Hamilton Volunteer Firefighters, requesting donations. The annual fund drive always happens right around Thanksgiving and yes, it is legit. In the letter, signed by Fire Chief Brad Mohn, he mentions the hundreds of hours in training and response to Hamilton area fires that volunteers donate to the community. That includes the Hamilton Rural Fire District, which has seen an increase in fire calls, resulting in construction of two rural fire stations in Charlos Heights and Grantsdale. The department's main funding comes from public taxes. The money raised in this fund drive is used for training and safety tools.

The firefighters are thankful to their employers for letting them leave work duties to respond to emergency calls. The firefighters' families also deserve thanks for the sudden departure of a spouse when the beeper sounds. By the way, Mohn said that all departments in the Bitterroot Valley can always use more firefighters. The authorized Hamilton Volunteer Fire Department address for the fund drive is P.O. Box 562, Hamilton MT 59840.