Missoula Rural Fire has received a $3,000 grant from one of the world's largest commercial insurance companies, FM Global, to assist firefighters in assessing a fire before they even arrive at the scene.

Assistant Chief Brent Christofferson said on Tuesday, that the grant would help keep firefighters safer on the job.

"Pre-planning is big for firefighters knowing what the layout of the buildings are before they arrive should there be a fire," Christofferson said. "This information will tell us about the building's type and construction, where the access points are, what's located in the building, and where the fire is located in the building."

"The computer information can also tell us about when the building might collapse, so pre-planning is huge when we're putting together an attack plan as we're heading to a structure fire," Christofferson said.

The $3,000 grant will help Missoula Rural Fire to place mobile data terminals in their firefighting vehicles.

Assistant Rural Fire Chief Brent Christofferson