Three Forks Fire Dept. remembers fallen chief


GALLATIN COUNTY - Three Forks Fire Department staff says Chief Todd Rummel's passing has left an unfillable void in the department. People at the department say he was well liked and well respected.

"Todd was the glue that held this department together," said firefighter Brad Eastty.

Rummel headed west from Pennsylvania in 2006. That's when he started work with Eastty.

Eastty said, "He was a personality, a person and a force. And he will not be replaced."

Firefighters and community members came to the Three Forks Fire Department to pay their respects to Rummel.

"It leaves a great big hole in the fire department," said Eastty. "And the community of Three Forks."

Rummel had been chief for only a little over a month, but it was a month people say will long be remembered.

"When he had to go and correct somebody, he did it in a way that made you feel like you were going to be better," explained Eastty.

There are now 17 firefighters at the station. Each one of them knows the job goes on. There will always be emergency calls.

His supporters know there will never be anyone that will fill Rummel's boots.

"Everybody in this department loved Todd," said Eastty. "And we knew him outside of fire, but there was nothing in Todd's life that was outside of the fire department. It was his life."

A memorial service for Rummel will be held next Wednesday, June 25 at 2 p.m. at Three Forks High School.

A Fire Chief Rummel Memorial Fund has been set up for his family. Donations can be made at any Manhattan Bank branch.

We asked the Three Forks Fire Department where they go from here. Assistant Chief Keith Aune has stepped in as the Interim Chief.

Although they lost their rural fire engine, they still have a city fire engine. The department says it's still prepared to respond to fires and emergencies.

Firefighters tell us other Gallatin County fire departments have volunteered to step in should Three Forks Fire need assistance.