Montana Professional Firefighters
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 CONVENTION June 10-12, 2024


Use group name "MT Professional Firefighters Convention 2024"

Group booking rate is good through May 3rd, group code is "MPF"



George Richards - MSCOPFF/MSFA President

My name is George Richards, I am the current President of the Montana State Council of Professional Firefighters and the Firemen’s Association. I was elected to this position in September 2020. I am a professional firefighter with the rank of Engineer for the City of Billings. I have been employed in this position since 2006 and been in the fire field as a volunteer since 1995 and an ARFF firefighter from 2003-2006. I am married to a wonderful woman (Chandra) now of 16 years. We have 4 lovely daughters (MyKenzie, Niah, Brityn, & Jayda) and we love to travel, go camping,  4-wheeling, spend time with friends & family and cheer on our daughters in their sports.

I come from a strong union household. My father was a proud union member and even served as a union officer for many years throughout his career. He believed in the representation of unions and what they brought to the workforce.  This instilled in me a deep passion and appreciation for the union and what it can symbolize and create in the lives of those in the work force.

I started as a shop steward shortly after being hired by the City and moved up thru the different E-board positions until reaching the position of Vice President of our Local 521. In 2012 I was elected to serve on the State Firemen’s Association as an advisory member to the pension board. In 2016 I was elected to the State Council and served as a District 1 Representative. This position allowed me the privilege to serve some of our smaller communities in MT and help ensure to them that their voices are heard and  that they have a place within our state organizations. This is something I really enjoyed doing and it gave me the opportunity to travel and meet the members in a communal way that created trust, friendships and comradery amongst us. In 2018 I was elected to Vice President of the MSCOPFF and in 2019 I was elected to serve as Vice President of the Montana State Firemen’s Association, a role I felt gave me an opportunity to continue to build relations, improve member engagement and bring solidarity to our members.

I also had the honor of being involved with the long-term pursuit of the Firefighters Health & Safety Bill that was recently passed in the 2019 legislative year. This initiative was started many years ago by others that lead the way for us all and I was able to be a part of helping bring this long overdue bill to fruition.

Being a member and a leader in the MSCOPFF & MSFA has meant a great deal to me and I am proud to be a member of this establishment. It is my desire to serve our members equally by encouraging unity, integrity, ownership and an open platform where we all feel a sense of ownership and belonging.


George Richards


District Vice President


Lori Johnson - District 1 VP

I currently work for Billings Fire Department. I have been on the job for 5 years. I became passionate about being a member of Local 521 and served on the Executive board for 2 terms as Officer at large and Finance officer.

I am newly married to my wife Nicole and we are going through life in the most fun way!

I was born and raised in Texas. Full ride soccer scholarship to Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana where I played forward. I started my fire service career in my senior of college as a volunteer for Washington township. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Sports Management with a minor in business. I moved to Colorado after college to pursue a wildland firefighting position and also volunteered for Franktown Fire Protection District in Franktown, Colorado. I was there for 2 years before moving to Oregon to achieve an Associate degree in Fire Science.

I was a resident volunteer for West Valley Fire department in Willimina, Oregon for 2 years. I then took a position as an Incident Responder with the State of Oregon Department of Transportation. I was in this position for 3 years before moving to Billings, Montana.

I currently hold the District Vice President position representing District 1 for our great state of Montana. I represent Billings local 521, Lockwood local 3658, Miles City local 600 and Glendive local 2242.

I am humbled to have had the long journey to get to the dream I am living! I am appreciative of the chances I was given that led me to where I am. I am honored to being serving all of you!

District 1 VP

Lori Johnson



Dave Maslowski - District 2 VP

I am currently a Firefighter with the Helena Fire Department. I also have the awesome opportunity to serve as the District 2 Representative for the Montana State Council of Professional Firefighters and the Montana State Firemen’s Association. In this role I hope to assist our already great Local leadership in advocating for and assisting our members.

I was born and raised in Bismarck, ND. So, I am a self-admitted transplant to Montana. But I moved here in 2007 to pursue my dream of becoming a firefighter. I served a Resident Firefighter with the Frenchtown Rural Fire District as well as Helicopter Crewmember with the Montana DNRC. My first job as a career firefighter was with the Anaconda Fire Department. It was here where I learned what it really meant to be a Union member. I was finally hired at the Helena Fire Department in 2013. I currently serve on the executive board of the Local, as District 2 Representative for the state organizations, and as a Lobbyist at the Capitol for all Montana firefighters.

It is my privilege to work on behalf of firefighters in Montana. I find a great deal of purpose advocating for our defined benefit pension system, collective bargaining rights, and helping our members work through issues at the local, state, and national level.

District 2 VP

Dave Maslowski



Greg Orr - District 3 VP

District 3 VP

Greg Orr



Joel Gaertig - Officer At Large

Officer At Large

Joel Gaertig


John Foster - District 4 VP

Hello, my name is John Foster and I am the new District Vice President for the 4th district.  I joined the fire service in 2011 as a volunteer and transitioned into a career in 2013.  Of my eight and a half years as a union firefighter I have been serving on my locals Eboard for seven of them.  In that time I have worked hard to bring professionalism, clarity, and a level headed attitude to our local.  I could not have been successful in my time as union president without the help of the union leadership within the state and I am honored to now serve others in the same way. 

In addition to my time as a firefighter, I am a creative person. I have lots of hobbies including woodworking, board games with friends and family, and playing several different musical instruments. I am lovingly supported by my wife Audrey and my ten month old daughter Bonnie.

Please reach out to me with any questions or concerns and thank you for the opportunity to serve.  

District 4 VP

John Foster




Kelly Lee - MSFA Secretary/Treasurer

MSFA Secretary/Treasurer

Kelly Lee


Scott DeMarois - MSCOPFF Sec/Treas

I grew up in a very Pro-Union household in Anaconda. There I learned the lessons of hard work and dedication to family and job. Having parents and grandparents involved with Unions and Unionism developed in me a strong understanding of the accomplishments we can achieve when we work together. Growing up in Anaconda in the 70’s and 80’s did not come without strife; the Anaconda Company was a hard-nosed company and the Labor force had to fight for small increases in benefits…nickels.  It was in moments around the kitchen table, listening to my parents talk about the stress it brought, I realized something very important.  They taught me, that there was hope, hope that the Union was going to negotiate a better contract, and our family would be better off.  My parents knew, it was in their hearts; because we were a UNION family, things would be ok.

I went to college at Montana Tech to study Chemistry.  It was a fantastic career path, but I knew in my heart that there was something different for me.  My summers were spent in the trees, working with the Department of State Lands and then with the Forest Service.  There was my passion…fire! A position opened at the Anaconda Fire Department in 1995, and I applied.  I have been on the job for 26 years and can honestly say I chose correctly.  In those days, Unionism wasn’t much of a choice, YOU WERE UNION, but I knew from the beginning that it was in my heart.  Early in my career I was elected to the Secretary/Treasurer position and held that for many years.  Most recently, I served as my Local President.  I currently hold the rank of Captain.

I am married to Melani and we have been together for 11 years.  We have 5 kids, Jay, Quinn, Tommi, Madison and Cara. A heart felt thank you to them, because if I didn’t have that security at home, I would not be able to do this job.

I was first elected to Executive board as the AT-Large rep. for the MSFA.  It is here where I learned in detail about our pension, the Pension Board and the strength we have in the MSFA. I was part of the team that built the new dual representation model for the MSCOPFF and MSFA.  The next year I was elected as the District Vice President for the MSCOPFF and Representative for MSFA.  It is our goal to offer as many services as possible, in a responsible fiscal manner.

Fire Fighting and Unionism is a philosophy of service that resonates to my core.  It has been a calling for me and I continue to love all aspects of the work.  Local autonomy is the cornerstone of our Union, it’s what sets us apart from the rest and will continue to lead us into the future. Because of that belief, I see myself as a servant to YOU the membership and set the Local as my priority. 

I am so very honored to serve you and look forward to our new and continued relationships. 

Stay Low!


Scott DeMarois




Joel Fassbinder - Emeritus


Joel Fassbinder


Jason Baker - Emeritus

Jason Robert Baker, 45, died February 20, 2019 in Great Falls after a two-year battle with lung cancer.

Baker was born Sept. 9, 1973, the second eldest of four siblings. He graduated from Fort Benton High School in 1992.

Jason met his future wife, Jill, in middle school, and they always enjoyed each other’s company. He helped her move into the dorms at the University of Montana, and by the end of their freshman year, they were dating. Jason and Jill were married 23 years.

Jason loved being a father to daughter, Peyton and son, Porter. He wanted to be involved with everything they did while avoiding helicopter parenting. Supportive and loving, he showed up for concerts, cross-country meets and football games. He instilled in them generosity and the value of hard work. He also made sure they had practical skills. He wanted them to be competent adults, and when he knew how limited his time would be, to be able to do things without him.

Jason began his firefighting career as a wildland firefighter in the Seeley Lake area during a summer break from the University of Montana. He became a volunteer firefighter and then found a job with the Great Falls Fire Department in 2000. The fire station became his second home, and the people he worked with his second family.

Baker worked for more than a decade to help firefighters statewide achieve presumptive health and safety coverage so generations of first responders tagged with lung disease and other serious work-related health conditions would have better odds at living a normal life. It’s a fight that continues.

Jason had to retire from the GFFD in December 2017, and he embraced his new role. He became a taxi service for his children, made his family dinner and helped his kids with their homework.

Jason had a gift for storytelling, often with embellishment to make the stories especially good. He had a contagious smile and ease making new friends. He was a prolific jokester. Some of his practical jokes succeeded and some failed, but they were always done in fun.

Jason had a natural affinity for teenagers and an ability to bring those on the end into the fold. He volunteered as a co-leader for the Christ United Methodist Church youth group, was a counselor for Methodist camp on Flathead Lake, coached Salvation Army flag football and Boys and Girls Club football teams and connected one-on-one as a counselor at the Muscular Dystrophy Association summer camp in Montana. He also organized for many years the local firefighters’ MDA boot drive. He helped launch the coats-for-kids and helped with many other charitable projects through the firefighters’ union. He had a generous heart and was the kind of guy who would give others the shirt off his back.

Jason was big on second chances. He had high expectations for people and wanted them to be their best selves, but he was forgiving, too. He didn’t give up on people, and that’s part of why they loved him.

Even before his diagnosis, Jason made the most of his time, treasuring moments with family and friends and going on adventures. He went to concerts, cheered on his sports teams (Chicago Bears, Washington Capitals and New York Yankees) at their games and rode motorcycles for fun, for camaraderie and for “wind therapy.” One of his special motorcycle trips was a ride with other Montana firefighters to New York City for the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Jason would have liked to have gone to Ireland or Boston for St. Patrick’s Day, which he often celebrated in Butte and always made a grand occasion with the parade and Guinness at the pub. He had a kilt and wasn’t afraid to wear it, even if it wasn’t St. Patrick’s Day. He even issued the credible threat that he’d pick Peyton up from school in his kilt.

Jason didn’t die with regrets because he said what needed to be said and lived honestly. He didn’t have unfinished business and told a nurse who asked him what he wanted to have done, “I’ve done it.” He only held on as long as he did to be with his loved ones. 

During his last two years, Jason said that as a firefighter one of the strengths he developed is being able to adapt to rapidly changing conditions. He knew courage can look like running into a burning building, but it also can look like getting up every day and fighting cancer. Courage can be continuing treatments that are painful and sickening. Courage can be taking another ride on the motorcycle or grilling dinner for your kids when all you want to do is collapse.

About every possible side effect of his treatments seemed to happen to Jason, which was hard on his body and spirit. Still, he made the most of each good day he had. Before leaving the hospital for hospice, Jason had a surge of energy. He started telling stories to the dozen people gathered in his room and soon they were rolling with laughter. Moments like that were where he thrived. His joy was in making other happy and hearing them laugh.

Jason was proceeded in death by his father, Robert of Great Falls, and uncle, Larry Rowland of Michigan. He is survived by his wife; Jill, their children, Peyton and Porter; mother, Jolene Dahlstrom in Michigan; stepmother, Lois Baker of Great Falls; father-in-law, Richard Bitz and step-mother-in-law Vicki of Missoula; mother-in-law, Julia Bitz of Fort Benton; sister, Stacy Arndt with Emily and Ashton of Colorado; sister, Morgan (Kyle) Halseth, with Addison and Avery of Helena; sister Heather Baker of Texas with her son, Rob; brothers-in-law Nick, (Kristin) Bitz with Noah, Izaak, Tyler, Elijah and Jakob of Wisconsin and Michael (Abigail) Bitz with Kinsey, Kera and Jacob of South Carolina; aunts, Mary Vrablick of California, Janet Dublis of Maine, and Sandy Rowland of Michigan; uncles, Mark (Janice) Chandler of New York, and Dennis Marriage of Cut Bank; cousins, Paul and Evelyn DaSilva of New York, as well as numerous cousins and other relatives in Montana, New York, Michigan, Maine, Illinois, Florida, Georgia, Alabama and other parts of the U.S. and Australia.


Jason Baker


Tod Miller - Emeritus


Tod Miller


David Van Son - Emeritus


David Van Son



Carter Marsh - Lead Legislatvive Liaison

Lead Legislatvive Liaison

Carter Marsh



Eric Huleatt - Minister of Technology

Minister of Technology

Eric Huleatt



Darrek Mitchell - Mental Health Coordinator

Battalion Chief
Billings Fire Dept.
A-Shift BC, Rescue Tech BC, Big Sky CISM, Peer Support Specialist Lead, MT Professional Firefighters Mental Health Coordinator
  • +1 406 237 6142
  • +1 406 672 6974

Mental Health Coordinator

Darrek Mitchell



Cameron Abell - Minister of Technology

Minister of Technology

Cameron Abell


Union Presidents


Carter Marsh - Great Falls L8 President

Great Falls L8 President

Carter Marsh

(406) 925-1660


Jerod Gonzalez - Butte L96 pres

Butte L96 pres

Jerod Gonzalez



Loy Bink - Anaconda L100 Pres.

Anaconda L100 Pres.

Loy Bink



Tavis Campbell - Missoula L271 Pres

Missoula L271 Pres

Tavis Campbell



Mike McDaniel - Helena L448 Pres.

Helena L448 Pres.

Mike McDaniel

(406) 459-9044


Jake Wilkins - Billings L521 Pres.

Billings L521 Pres.

Jake Wilkins


Don Thibert - Kalispell L547 Pres.

Kalispell L547 Pres.

Don Thibert



Casey Miller - Miles City L600 Pres

Miles City L600 Pres

Casey Miller



Braden Dieziger - Havre L601 Pres.

Havre L601 Pres.

Braden Dieziger



Jared Ridgeway - Bozeman L613 Pres

Bozeman L613 Pres

Jared Ridgeway



Nate Adams - Livingston L630 Pres.

Livingston L630 Pres.

Nate Adams


Cory Johnson - Glendive L2242 President

Glendive L2242 President

Cory Johnson

(406) 939-3276


Max Kottwitz - Missoula Rural L2457 Pres.

Missoula Rural L2457 Pres.

Max Kottwitz


Nick Hackett - Great Falls Airport L3261 Pres.

Great Falls Airport L3261 Pres.

Nick Hackett


James Jensen - Lewistown L3429 Pres.

Lewistown L3429 Pres.

James Jensen



Lindsay Lambert - Lockwood L3658 Pres.

Lockwood L3658 Pres.

Lindsay Lambert

775 453-5632


Corey Ledbetter - Whitefish L3995 pres.

Whitefish L3995 pres.

Corey Ledbetter


Cassandra Mitchell - West Yellowstone L4432 Pres

West Yellowstone L4432 Pres

Cassandra Mitchell

(406) 223-0146


Kirk Bartel - Frenchtown L4654

Frenchtown L4654

Kirk Bartel

(406) 890-5498


Mitch Hamel - Big Sky L4732 Pres.

Big Sky L4732 Pres.

Mitch Hamel



Dustin Pitman - Central Valley L4939 pres.

Central Valley L4939 pres.

Dustin Pitman



Jim Bewer - Wildfire Defense Systems I-96 Pres

Wildfire Defense Systems I-96 Pres

Jim Bewer



Sean Reffner - Bigfork Professional Firefighters L5289 (Union Presidents)

Bigfork Professional Firefighters L5289 (Union Presidents)

Sean Reffner

Montana Professional Firefighters
PO Box 25
Anaconda, MT 59711

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