Wednesday, January 16, 2019


RCFD to Conduct Drills at Rehabilitation Institute

Building is due to be demolished later this month 


Rapid City, S.D. – This week, Rapid City Firefighters will conduct drills and training at the Rehabilitation Institute building located at 2908 5th Street in Rapid City. The building is due to be demolished later this month as part of an ongoing construction project at the hospital. The Rapid City Fire Department Training Section anticipates training and drill activities to take place at various times during day and evening on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday of this week.

Thanks to the generosity of Regional Health, the RCFD will have the opportunity to train and conduct a number of scenario based drills in a realistic environment. Training and drills will focus on high-rise operations, aerial operations, forcible entry and search patterns in large occupancies. Some of the drills will be conducted in low visibility conditions with smoke generated by a smoke machine.

Training and drills are important to maintaining and enhancing firefighter skills. In October of 2018, Rapid City Firefighters trained and performed drills on a building set for demolition in the 700 block of West Street. During that training, one of the skills taught to firefighters was a basement window rescue technique in which a victim could be evacuated if their primary egress were to become compromised. That training was put to use only two weeks later as firefighters rescued an individual from his basement apartment window during a fire on Cherry Avenue in Rapid City utilizing techniques taught on West Street.

During the training and drills, a large number of firefighters dressed in structural firefighting Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and large fire apparatus will be clearly visible. Motorists, Regional Health employees and members of the public in the area of the Rehabilitation Institute should not be alarmed.

For questions or comment related to this advisory, please contact Lt. Jim Bussell, Public information Officer for the Rapid City Fire Department, at 605-394-4180.

-END-

Monday, December 24, 2018

Things You May, or May-Not, Have Missed


Rapid City, S.D. - Over the last two weeks, we decided to take a little social media break.  Here's some of what you may (or may not) have missed.


-With the help of the City Council, we presented Jim McLendon and Gene Wittkowske with Civilian Lifesaving Citations. As you may have heard, the pair rescued Patricia Maki during a November 9, 2018 fire on Cherry Avenue. Ms. Maki was on hand to present the pair with their citations.


-Through donations and some fundraising, Firefighter/Medic Jamil Abourezk was able to purchase just under 200 toys for children in the Rapid City area. All of the toys were wrapped by Jamil and several Rapid City Firefighters and their families. Since he's assigned to Station 3, Abourezk distributed all of the toys to children in the Station 3 area. This included the Seventh Day Adventist School and the Churchill Apartments.







-We had the opportunity to present to 7th Graders at South Middle School about PulsePoint. We were invided in to present to two classes that just completed CPR training. In addition to learning about the PulsePoint Respond app, students learned how to use the companion app, PulsePoint AED. In fact, South Middle School has two public access AED's that were not previously registered on the app. The students had the opportunity to add these important devices so that others in the community will know where to find them.


-Staff at Main Street Square just recently completed CPR and First Aid certification. They invited us in to share the PulsePoint Respond and PulsePoint AED apps with them. Two previously unregistered public access AED's are now registered and their staff now has both apps downloaded to help bring an extra layer of safety to visitors to the Square.

-The Rapid City Fire Department was again proud to be an Angel Tree location. This year, our tree was adorned with 30 tags. We are proud to report that all 30 tags were taken and toys for each tag were returned.

-On Tuesday December 18, a fire broke out in the 1500 block of Concourse Drive. During mop-up and overhaul operations, we were paid a visit by London and Zoey. The girls live with their family just down the road for the fire. They were most grateful for the work of our firefighters so they stopped by with delicious donuts as a way to say "thank-you". We really appreciate the generosity and thank these two young ladies for thinking of us. In the spirit of giving, we also offered to share our donuts with our friends at the Rapid City Police Department who were on scene assisting us.

-Also on Tuesday, we responded to a vehicle fire in the 500 block of East North Street near the gas pumps at the Maverick gas station. No one was injured and there was no damage to the nearby gas pumps or a nearby building. Truck 1 had the fire knocked down quickly upon arrival.

-Last Thursday, members of the RCFD joined our friends from the Rapid City Police Department and Ellsworth Air Force Base to deliver Christmas cheer to Canyon Lake Elementary students. Every year, Don and Linda Rydstrom bring presents to each child at the school. Rapid City Firefighters were proud to be elves for Santa and the Rydstroms and share in the laughter and smiles that the day always brings.



-For three days last week, Lt. Neill Goodart conducted ventilation training for all of our on-duty crews. Controlling the flow path (the movement of heat and smoke from higher pressure areas toward lower pressure areas) is very important. Through classroom presentations and then a hands-on demonstration at Station 2, crews will be better able to understand what is needed to control the flow path.


-Rapid City Firefighters that organized the No Shave November activities presented a check for $1,182 to Feeding South Dakota for the Backpack Program. The backpack program provides less fortunate children with easy to prepare foods during the weekends and holidays during the school year. Each week during the school year, around 1,800 children are given food at 34 different schools in the Black Hills. Our thanks to all that donated and helped us support this amazing program.


Tuesday, December 4, 2018

RCFD Responds to Fire on East Kansas City Street

Fire is the second structure fire in 12 hours for RCFD



Rapid City, S.D. - For the second time in 12 hours, the Rapid City Fire Department doused a structure fire in Rapid City. At 6:27 pm, firefighters from Stations 1, 4 and 7 responded to a report of smoke coming from a structure at 12 E. Kansas City Street. When crews arrived on scene three minutes later, they found light smoke coming from a single family dwelling.

When firefighters made access inside the structure they found a fire in the kitchen that had extended into nearby cabinetry and into the ceiling and attic. It took firefighters about 15 minutes to stop the forward progress of the fire. Because of the extension into the ceiling, firefighters completed an extensive overhaul operation to ensure that all hidden fire was located and extinguished. The last RCFD unit left the scene at about 8:30 pm.  

The occupants of the residence were not home at the time of the fire. Two animals were outside when firefighters arrived. Firefighters and Animal Control officers provided care and shelter for the animals until the occupants of the home arrived at the scene. 

There were no injuries reported to firefighters or civilians. 

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

This evenings fire marks the second structure fire in 12 hours for the RCFD. While the cause of both fires remain under investigation, the RCFD will take the opportunity to remind the public that statistics from the National Fire Protection Administration show that structure fires peak during the winter months. Cooking and heating equipment continue to be leading causes of fires. Fires caused by cooking and heating equipment also account for 39% of civilian home fire deaths and 57% of civilian home fire injuries.

Tips for preventing cooking fires can be found at https://bit.ly/2QVZhPI.
Tips for preventing heating fires can be found at https://bit.ly/2P87qD1.

For questions or comment related to this release, please contact Lt. Jim Bussell, Public Information Officer for the Rapid City Fire Department at 605-394-4180.
-END- 

RCFD Units Responding: Truck 1, Squad 1, Engine 7, Engine 4, Medic 4, Battalion 1, Public Information Officer

Other Agencies Responding; Pennington County Fire Administration, Rapid City Police Department, city of Rapid City Water Department, Montana Dakota Utilities, Black Hills Energy, Animal Control and Enforcement

No Injuries Reported After Early Morning Fire

Fire spotted by RCPD Officer


Rapid City, S.D. – Four individuals are displaced after an early morning fire in an occupied residence. At 5:05 am this morning, a Rapid City Police Department officer on a call for service in the 100 block of East Denver Street was alerted to a structure fire nearby. The officer noted smoke and flames coming from the basement apartment of the structure located at 127 East Denver and initiated a response from the Rapid City Fire Department.

Crews from Rapid City Fire Department Stations 1, 4 and 7 responded to the fire. On arrival, crews found heavy fire in the basement apartment and heavy smoke conditions throughout the entire structure. All occupants of the structure had exited before RCFD units arrived. Crews stopped the forward progress of the fire in about 30 minutes. Firefighters remained on scene until 7:00 am to complete extinguishment and overhaul operations.
Above: Rapid City Firefighters make entry into a structure fire this morning at 127 East Denver Street.
There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters reported. The American Red Cross serving Central and Western South Dakota was called to the scene to assist occupants with immediate needs.

The Rapid City Police Department remained on scene to assist with traffic control in the area as East Denver Street between Milwaukee Street and North Maple Avenue was closed for a time due to the fire. Additional ice accumulated on already slick road and sidewalk surfaces as a result of firefighting operations. The Street Department with the City of Rapid City was called to treat surfaces in the area.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Additional releases regarding this incident are not anticipated at this time. For questions related to this release, please contact Lt. Jim Bussell, Public Information Officer for the Rapid City Fire Department, at 605-394-4180.

-END-

RCFD Units Responding: Squad 1, Truck 1, Engine 7, Engine 4, Medic 1, Battalion 1, Fire and Life Safety Division, Public Information Officer
Other Agencies Responding: Rapid City Police Department, Pennington County Fire Administrator, Montana Dakota Utilities, Black Hills Energy, City of Rapid City Water Department, City of Rapid City Street Department, American Red Cross Serving Central and Western South Dakota.


Monday, December 3, 2018


Slash Pile Burning Planned for Springbrook Acres, M Hill

Prescribed burning dependent on snow cover



Rapid City, S.D. – Rapid City residents will see an increase in slash pile burning this week. The Rapid City Fire Department will issue burn permits allowing slash-pile burning in the Springbrook Acres common acreage. This area is located on the western slope of the Skyline Drive ridge-line above Springbrook Acres in Rapid City. Meanwhile, the RCFD Veteran Wildfire Mitigation Crew will burn slash piles on the south side of M Hill in the Hanson-Larsen Memorial Park area. Both burning operations will be conducted as a result of a qualifying snow event and are anticipated to begin on Tuesday December 4. Additional ignitions will remain dependent on snow cover restrictions mandated by the RCFD. Slash pile burn operations shall comply with Rapid City and Pennington County Air Quality Ordinances and the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards. 

The pile burning in Springbrook Acres will be conducted through a fuels reduction project under the direction of Lt. Tim Weaver.  In a statement, Lt. Weaver said; “These piles are being burned as a continuation of the wildland fire hazardous fuel reduction project in the Springbrook Acres common area that has taken place over the past 3 years.” Weaver went on to say; “This hazardous fuel reduction project exemplifies the Rapid City Fire Department’s desire to create fire resilient landscapes with in the city limits in areas that are at risk for catastrophic wildfire behavior. This is part of our Survivable Space Initiative which helps landowners in Rapid City create fire adapted landscapes on their property.”

Like the Springbrook Acres project, slash pile burning on M Hill is part of a hazardous fuels mitigation program that has been in progress over the last three years. The Hanson-Larsen Memorial Park and adjacent area have experienced a number of wildland fires in the last several years. Reduction of hazardous fuels in the area reduces the likelihood of a catastrophic wildland fire event.

Smoke and flames will be visible clearly near the projects, particularly on Sheridan Lake Road from the area of the Springbrook burning operation and on Omaha Street and in Downtown Rapid City from the M Hill burning operation. Smoke may linger for several days after the piles burn down. The RCFD along with Springbrook Acres will continue to monitor both areas in the days following the project. Please DO NOT call 9-1-1 to report the burning piles.

For more information on the prescribed burning, please contact Lt. Tim Weaver at (605)-394-5233 or at (605)-390-4114.

-END-

Monday, November 26, 2018


Fire, Law Enforcement Agencies Investigating Fatal Garage Fire



Rapid City, S.D. – At 1:30 am the Rapid City Fire Department was dispatched to a report of a structure fire at 118 Signal Drive in Rapid City. Rapid City Police Department officers on patrol in the area arrived on scene within three minutes of the call and advised responding RCFD units that the garage was fully involved. As firefighters responded, dispatchers from Pennington County 9-1-1 relayed information that the detached garage was occupied and that it was unknown if any individuals remained inside.

When the first RCFD units arrived on scene four minutes after dispatch, they observed heavy fire conditions throughout the detached, two-stall garage. Firefighters quickly attacked the fire, stopping the forward progress of the fire within five minutes of arrival. Police Officers located an individual with non-life threatening injuries nearby. Rapid City Fire Department Paramedics transported that individual to a local hospital. The condition of the individual in unknown at this time.

As firefighters extinguished the flames, the body of an unidentified individual was located in the garage. The individual was pronounced dead at the scene. As of the time of this release, the gender, age and identity of the deceased individual is not known.

Firefighters remained on scene until just after 3:00 am extinguishing hot spots. No other civilian injuries or injuries to firefighters were reported. The fire threatened two nearby occupied residential structures. Neither of those structures sustained any damage.

The cause of the fire and the investigation into the cause and manner in which one individual perished and another was injured is under investigation by the Rapid City Police Department, Pennington County Sheriff’s Office and the Rapid City Fire Department.

At this time, no other information is available for release. Updates related to this incident will be provided when appropriate.

For questions related to this release, please contact Lt. Jim Bussell, Public Information Officer for the Rapid City Fire Department, at 605-394-4180.

-END-

Friday, November 23, 2018




RCFD Responds to Early Morning Fire

Lemmon Ave fire was 50th call for service during 24 hour shift


Rapid City, S.D. – At 4:47 this morning, crews from four Rapid City Fire Department stations were dispatched to a report of a structure fire at 714 Lemmon Avenue in Rapid City. Rapid City Police Department officers were on scene moments before RCFD units arrived and reported the structure to be fully involved with subjects still unaccounted for. When fire crews arrived, they had heavy fire conditions coming from nearly all of the doors and windows of the single family dwelling.

It took firefighters about 30 minutes to stop the forward progress of the fire. During that time, police officers and firefighters were able to locate and account for all occupants of the home. One individual was transported to a local hospital with life threatening injuries. That individual will remain unidentified to protect their privacy. No other injuries to occupants or firefighters were reported. Crews continued mop-up and overhaul operations until about 6:30 this morning.

Four occupants of the residence have been displaced by the fire. The American Red Cross serving Central and Western South Dakota was called to assist the occupants with immediate needs.

The Rapid City Fire Department’s Fire and Life Safety Division and the Rapid City Police Department are investigating the cause and circumstances surrounding the fire.

The Lemmon Avenue fire was the 50th call for service for the Rapid City Fire Department during what proved to be a busy and, at times, intense 24-hour Thanksgiving shift. Rapid City’s C-Shift Firefighters responded to a total of 51 calls during the shift. During the shift– which started at 7:00 am Thursday morning– firefighters responded to two structure fires. One fire was confined to the stove area and was one of three burned turkeys that the department responded to during the shift. The crew from Station 6 provided mutual aid to the Rockerville Fire Department for a wildland fire in the Teepee Gulch area. In addition to the structure and wildland fires, crews responded to three cardiac arrests, two serious motor vehicle crashes, a gas leak, and a number of various medical calls, fire alarms, crashes and miscellaneous calls for service. The 51 calls resulted in 82 unit responses.

For questions regarding this release, please contact Lt. Jim Bussell, Public Information Officer for the Rapid City Fire Department, at 605-394-4180.

-END-

RCFD Units Responding: Truck 1, Squad 1, Battalion 1, Medic 1, Engine 7, Medic 7, Truck 3, Engine 4
Other Agencies Responding: Rapid City Police Department, Montana Dakota Utilities, Black Hills Energy, City of Rapid City Water Department, American Red Cross serving Central and Western South Dakota