Recognizing Engine 18

July 8, 2022

In this month’s blog we’d love to spotlight one of the greatest assets of the town of Dillon, MT.  Engine 18 is a non profit organization which was founded in 2017 by a group of University of Montana Western Alumni and other incredible people of our community.

The idea behind the fire engine was simply to be the greatest tailgating and cooking vehicle ever imagined.  This dream quickly morphed when M.J. Simkins tragically lost his life in a fire.  M.J. was born and raised in Dillon, MT and made sure everyone knew how proud he was of that fact.  M.J. played sports at Beaverhead County High School and then football for his hometown Montana Western Bulldogs wearing the number 18.  He wore the number 18 because he loved Beaverhead County and Beaverhead County is county #18.  It’s on every license plate.  The first fire engine was quickly named Engine 18 in M.J.’s honor and the cause began. 

The group formed a 501C3 non profit organization with the goal of raising scholarships for students at Montana Western.  Engine 18, the truck, is now an icon in the community.  Present at every home Bulldog football game and several away games, the group’s flagship truck has been responsible for many meals, drinks, music and fun.  In 2018, many donations were generously given to the group and Smoker 1 was added to the Engine 18 fleet.  Smoker 1 was given a brand new paint job and then adorned with two 1,000 gallon smokers, complete with motorized rotisserie.  

What started out as a goal to promote University of Montana Western football by hosting tailgates and encouraging small donations for a single scholarship soon went by the wayside.  The group now receives donations to cook at weddings, birthdays, other sporting events, horse sales and many other events all over Beaverhead  County.  The group has added raffles for firearms and fly rods to it’s fund raising and this year will be selling raffle tickets for a fully restored 1972 Chevy half ton pickup.  The Olivier/Lemelin Family donated a very large enclosed trailer in which the organization stores equipment and sells Engine 18 swag out of on game days.  The organization is in the process of building a brand new shop to house the fleet which happens to be right next door to the new stadium being added to Montana Western.  

  • In 2018, Engine 18 was able to put together a scholarship in the amount of $800 to help a Western athlete.  Four years later the organization raised enough money to donate $11,000 in scholarships and plans to do more each year. 

  • Beaverhead County is the number one cattle producing county in the state of Montana.  Engine 18 has created a program, working in conjunction with the area ranches, which provides free ground beef to the athletes at Western who need help.  

  • Engine 18 has become a legend in the community for all it does and it’s endless generosity.  We at 18 Land Company would like to recognize and say thank you for all they do.  If you would like more information or like to see what they are all about in more depth, please visit their website at

18 Land Company is a Montana land brokerage company specializing in connecting sellers and buyers.  We now are offering our services in assisting you with home sales and purchase.

If you have questions or would like to talk to one of us about how to start a successful Montana ranching or farming operation, we welcome you to contact us at 406.988.0055  or


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