Sheriff Search for North Dakota Doctor


(Gallatin County, Mont.)  The Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team is currently search for a 74 year old North Dakota Doctor.  His vehicle and trailer were found next to a pea field south of Willow Cr on Saturday.  Missing is Dr. Patrick J. Fitzpatrick of Bismark ND.  The investigation indicates that he could have abandoned his vehicle as early as Friday afternoon.  He is described as 6’0″ tall and in excess of 220 lbs.  He has white hair and a goatee.  He speaks with an Irish accent.  Clothing description is unknown.  If anyone has seen or has information regarding Dr. Fitzpatrick please call the Sheriff’s Office at 406-582-2100.  Photographs attached.


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Missing 12 year old Found


(Bozeman, Mont) The Sheriff’s Office engaged in a search for a missing 12 year old boy this afternoon.  He was last seen in the area of the Museum of the Rockies at about 3:00 p.m. and located at 5:30.  6 Deputy Sheriff’s, Sheriff’s Search and Rescue assisted by MSU Police, Bozeman Police and the RaeSourdough Fire Dept. were involved with the Search.  The boy was missing from the area south of Goldenstein on South 3rd and had been missing since around noon.  The boy in this case decided to stop at a fire station, in this case at Rouse and Main, until someone found him.  Sheriff Gootkin says “Missing kids are always scary for parents.  We encourage parents to call us early so we have the best chance of finding them early.  Besides deciding to walk away from home this kid did good by going to a fire station.”

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Small Glider Crash Sends Pilot to the Hospital


(Gallatn County, Mont.)  At about 11:00 this morning Deputies were dispatched to a crash involving a powered ultralite aircraft in the 4000 block of Amsterdam Rd.  The craft crashed into a field and the pilot, a 55 year old local male, sustained leg injuries.  Amsterdam Fire, AMR Ambulance and Sheriff’s Deputies responded.  The FAA and NTSB were contacted but it is unknow if any Federal investigation will be conducted at this time.  The Pilot was transported to the hospital.  Photo courtesy of the Sheriff’s Office.#####


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Fireworks Safety Tips

Fireworks Safety Tips from your local fire service.  Feel free to utilize and distribute in any fashion you wish, in portion or entirety.

Click here for video.

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New Scam Alert

It has been reported that residents of the Gallatin County have been receiving calls from a solicitor stating that there will be a warrant of arrest and jury duty and if they do not send money. The person of interest is also claiming to be an official of the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office. If you receive any of these calls, please contact the Sheriff’s Office immediately.




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Cameron Bridge Rescue

On Tuesday, June 30th, 2015, shortly before 10:00 pm, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, the Central Valley Fire Department, and an American Medical Response Ambulance responded to a backcountry rescue.  A 27 year-old male and his girlfriend were hiking along the Gallatin River south of the Cameron Bridge Fishing access when he fell and sustained a debilitating ankle injury that left him unable to walk out of the area.

The victims clothing had become wet and he was suffering from being too cold.  The couple had a cell phone with them, but it was inoperable after it had been exposed to the water.  The girlfriend hiked back to their car and called for help.

Rescuers located the victim after a brief search.  They provided first aid to the victim, including treating his injured ankle and putting him in a sleeping bag for warmth.  Rescuers then transported the victim to the waiting ambulance via a specialized rescue sled.

Sheriff Gootkin would like to thank private landowners in the area for allowing rescuers access to their property.  The access provided a shorter and safer egress route for both the victim and the rescuers.

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Celebrate Independence Day Safely


MONTANA, July 1, 2015— Gallatin County Fire Agencies and firefighters across Montana want to help you celebrate Independence Day with wildfire safety in mind. As we draw near to the Fourth of July, many of us celebrate with family and friends by enjoying campfires, barbeques and firework displays. While these activities encourage fun times and great memories, it is important to understand they may also pose serious threats and risks.

The tip of a sparkler burns at a temperature of more than 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, which can easily ignite dry vegetation. The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display sponsored by your local community.

Here are a few additional tips for taking the fire out of fireworks:

  • Never leave children unsupervised around any type of fire.
  • Avoid starting any type of fire when conditions are dry or windy.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, and after doing so, move away quickly.
  • After fireworks are done burning, douse them with water before placing in the trash.
  • Observe fireworks restrictions.

We can all make a difference in reducing human-caused fires this season.

More information at

Sample PSA’s available here.


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Drowning Victim Identified


(Bozeman, Mont.)

On June 28, 2015 at approximately 10:32 PM Kevin R. Franklin of Bozeman, MT died at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital.  Franklin had been involved in an accident while recreating at the East Gallatin Recreation Area on June 27, 2015.  The Cause and Manner of death have been determined as an accidental drowning by the Gallatin County Office of the Sheriff/Coroner.

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Social Media Post Instuctions Lead to 911 Calls


(Gallatin County, Mont.)  Sheriff Gootkin and 911 Director Kerry O’Connell advise that in the last few days the 911 center has been recieving unintentional 911 calls from cell phones. Upon investigation it has been discovered that postings on social media have led to these calls.  The postings indicate that if someone wants to make “Siri” mad ask her to dial 112.

112 is the equivalent of 911 in most of Europe and other countries.  Director O’Connell asks that parents advise their social media using children of this and reminds the public that all 911 calls are taken very seriously.  “If dispatchers and first responders are distracted by  non emergency calls it can delay help for those who have true emergencies.  The 911 center is always busy and this time of year it can get especially hectic.” she said.  Sheriff Gootkin added that there can be criminal charges for misuse of 911.

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Multiple Fire Districts Suspend Burn Permits

Media Release
For Immediate Release         Contact: Kerry O’Connell
6/29/2015 6:00 PM               Phone: 406-582-2085

Multiple Fire Districts in Gallatin County Suspend Burn Permits
Residents in several fire districts in the Gallatin Valley will not be able to activate burn permits starting this week. As of Tuesday, June 30, 2015, Three Forks, Willow Creek, Clarkston, Fort Ellis, Manhattan, Big Sky, Bridger Canyon, Gallatin Rural Fire (areas outside of a fire district), and Gallatin River Ranch have closed their fire districts to any open burning that requires a burn permit.
As the weather continues in a warm and dry trend, fire officials are concerned that the fire danger is too high in some areas for residents to safely burn. All remaining fire districts are watching the weather closely and may also be closing their districts to any burning that requires a burn permit. Permits are required to burn natural vegetative material accumulated in a pile that is greater than four feet in diameter. Campfires do not require a burn permit.
Fire activity is starting to increase around the state and fire officials in Gallatin County urge residents to use caution with any open flame and when using fireworks over the 4th of July holiday. Residents are encouraged to delay their open burning activities until the weather improves and to be aware that they may not be able to activate their burn permits until late in the burning season. Permits can be activated at if your fire district is still allowing open burning.

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