Information And Contacts:
Requests can be made by contacting your local president or district VP or through the Montana State Firemen's Association executive officers.
Honor Guard Director: F. Ray Ruffatto
I got involved in Montana’s Emergency Services in 1988 while attending MSU, joining a small volunteer fire department that my grandfather helped establish, serving the southern outskirts of Bozeman. My first paid gig started in 1990 with Hall’s Emergency, Bozeman’s private ambulance company, as an EMT. This was followed by a few years in West Yellowstone and a few years in Helena. In 2003, I became a member of the MSFA when I went to work in Kalispell. In 2010, my application to join the MSFA Honor Guard was accepted. I had the good fortune of learning the ropes and serving under the HG leadership of Brothers Chass Perkins (Local 8, Ret.) and Brian Certraro (Local 96). In 2019, President Richards asked me if I would be willing to “take the helm” of the MSFA Honor Guard, and I enthusiastically accepted the assignment. It remains a privilege to continue to serve the MSFA/MTPROFF in this capacity. I am very proud of our committed and dedicated MSFA Honor Guard members; the important work they perform when called to duty is always top notch.
The MSFA Honor Guard serves both current and retired members in any way possible. Our mission is to represent all members of the Fire Service and other emergency responders with the highest degree of professionalism, dedication, loyalty, honor and dignity possible. We participate in local, state and national events as called upon in honoring fallen firefighters, their families, as well as department members past and present.
In addition to funerals and memorial services, the honor guard may be called upon to post colors and march in parades, along with a variety of other community events. Our Honor Guard is a group of dedicated and trained individuals who, with the help of their fellow brothers, sisters, departments, and family, devote their time to memorialize the fallen.
If you have any questions, please contact us.
Members of the Honor Guard during a 9/11 ceremony
A Few honor guard members before the Shriners parade.
The following protocol is to assist IAFF local affiliates in the event of a line-of-duty death of a member. The following information is solely provided for assistance purposes, each individual affiliate should evaluate its local conditions and utilize, amend or change these recommendations accordingly. IAFF LODD Funeral Protocol
What are some of the Firefighter Funeral Service Rituals.
Bell Ceremony: Fallen Firefighters Final Farewell
The men and women of today's fire service are confronted with a more dangerous work environment than ever before.
We are forced to continually change our strategies and tactics to accomplish our tasks.
Our methods may change, but our goals remain the same as they were in the past, to save lives and to protect property, sometimes at a terrible cost.
This is what we do, this is our chosen profession, and this is the tradition of the firefighter.
The fire service of today is ever changing, but is steeped in traditions 200 years old.
One such tradition is the sound of a bell.
In the past, as fire fighters began their tour of duty, it was the bell that signaled the beginning of that day's shift.
Throughout the day and night, each alarm was sounded by a bell, which summoned these brave souls to fight fires and to place their lives in jeopardy for the good of their fellow citizen. And when the fire was out and the alarm had come to an end, it was the bell that signaled to all the completion of that call.
When a firefighter had died in the line of duty, paying the supreme sacrifice, it was the mournful toll of the bell that solemnly announced a comrades passing.
We utilize these traditions as symbols, which reflect honor and respect on those who have given so much and who have served so well. To symbolize the devotion that these brave souls had for their duty, a special signal of three rings, three times each, represents the end of our comrades' duties and that they will be returning to quarters.
And so, to those who have selflessly given their lives for the good of their fellow man, their tasks completed, their duties well done, to our comrades, their last alarm, they are going home.