BILLINGS — An app is now available to the Billings community called Hidrent, and it connects people who need help with house projects with off-duty firefighters.
First launched in 2018 in Dallas, Texas and Denver, Colo., Hidrent is now available nationwide.
“This is perfect for senior citizens. Just imagine your mother, your grandmother trying to climb a ladder to clean the leaves out of her gutter,” Dave Heimbuch, founder of Hidrent, said in a video call Thursday.
Hidrent offers a variety of services, including installing smoke detectors and hanging Christmas lights. All done by a trustworthy, off-duty firefighter.
“They’re going out on their days that they’re working and they’re meeting with members of the community in not-so-good situations. This gives them the opportunity to continue serving the public without the stress of it being an emergency,” Heimbuch said.
According to Heimbuch, 12 firefighters in the Billings area are signed up for the app, which is free to download and submit a request. If a firefighter accepts the request, they’ll quote their price.
While some may see this as great service, some in the Billings Fire Department are apprehensive about the app.
“With your tax dollars, you are paying for us to be available 24/7, 365 and it doesn’t matter how big or small. Whatever you have going on, we respond to your emergency,” said Cameron McCamley, the EMS coordinator for the Billings Fire Department.
McCamley wanted to remind the community that the fire department already offers many services, such as free smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector installation.
“Billings Fire Department is always here to provide, really any assistance anyone needs. Not just the elderly,” McCamley said.
He also recommends looking into the city-offered snow buddy program for sidewalk shoveling and Big Sky Senior Services to be paired with a trustworthy contractor.