Tuesday, November 21, 2017

**For Immediate Release**
Re: Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
From: Rapid City Fire Department Public Information Office
(605)-394-4180
Date: 11/21/2017

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

RCFD makes "nice list", asked to deliver Santa to Main St. Square


Rapid City, S.D. - Late this morning, the RCFD Public Information Officer received a call from the North Pole regarding the arrival of Santa Claus in Rapid City this coming Saturday, November 25.

Mr. Alabaster Snowball, Press Secretary for Mr. Claus, contacted the RCFD to inquire about the availability of a RCFD fire apparatus for Santa's delivery to Main Street Square at 2 pm on Saturday.

As has been the case for a number of years, Santa has chosen the RCFD to deliver him to Main Street Square for a number of reasons. Mr. Snowball remarked; "The RCFD has a reputation of reliability". "Reliability coupled with the fact that their fire engines are shiny and red, much like Santa's sleigh, make them an obvious choice", continued Mr. Snowball.

The Rapid City Fire Department will be picking Santa up at an undisclosed location and delivering him safely and on time to Main Street Square promptly at 2 pm on Saturday. We hope you can be there to help ring in the Holiday Season!

For questions or comment related to this press release, please contact Lt. Jim Bussell, Public Information Officer for the RCFD or Mr. Alabaster Snowball, Press Secretary for Santa Claus.

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Monday, November 13, 2017

RCFD to Host EMT Course

Course will provide entry level EMS education to the public.


Rapid City, S.D. - The Rapid City Fire Department is hosting an EMT Course that is open to the public. The purpose of this class is to provide entry level EMS education to the public.

When: Class begins January 8, 2018 and runs through April 17, 2018. Classes will be held on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 6:00-10:00 pm.
Where: Classes will be held at 1205 N. Maple Ave (Old Fire Station 7).
Cost: $850. This includes the cost of the book. All fees are due lo later than January 8 and must be paid in full before class begins.

Class size is limited to 10 students. For more information, please contact Capt. Chris Jolley at (605)-394-4180, Monday through Friday between 8 am and 4 pm.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Eight Begin Careers as Rapid City Firefighters

The new recruits will be assigned to Medic Units until completion of a 2018 Fire Academy.



Pictured, top row, L to R: Cory Eberle, Ryan Nelson, Brandon Lliteras, Karl Bodensteiner
Pictured, bottom row, L to R: Steven Gilbert, Randy Albright, James Swango, David Rohlf

Rapid City, S.D. - Today, eight individuals will begin their careers as Rapid City Firefighters. The eight employees have completed initial training to be able to work on RCFD ambulances. The eight will be assigned strictly to Medic Units until completion of a longer, more formal academy- which will include fire and rescue training- sometime in 2018.

Randy Albright- Randy is originally from Minnesota. Recruit Albright has eight seasons of experience as a wildland firefighter with the United States Forest Service, with seven of those seasons spent in the Black Hills. Randy has prior Emergency Medical Services (EMS) experience as a member of the Piedmont Ambulance Service.

Karl Bodensteiner- Karl is a life-long resident of Rapid City. Recruit Bodensteiner is certified as an Advanced EMT and has worked for the Rosebud Ambulance Service for six years. Karl is currently enrolled in Paramedic school at Western Dakota Technical Institute. Karl and his wife have eight children and live on a small hobby farm near Rapid City.

Cory Eberle- Recruit Eberle was born and raised in Sioux Falls and obtained a bachelors degree in Exercise Science from the University of Sioux Falls. He is recently married and enjoys mountain biking and running during his free time.

Steven Gilbert- Recruit Gilbert is a 2010 graduate of Rapid City Stevens High School and a graduate of Minnesota State University with a degree in Biology. Steven has prior experience in emergency medicine as a Technician in the Emergency Department in a Mankato, MN area hospital. In his spare time, Steven enjoys rock climbing and outdoors activities.

Brandon Lliteras- Brandon was born and raised in Chadron, Nebraska and has been a member of the Chadron Volunteer Fire Department since 2004. Recruit Lliteras obtained a degree in Fire Science from Casper College in 2006 and his Paramedic certification in 2012. Since 2012, Brandon has been a Paramedic with the Oglala Sioux Tribe Ambulance Service.

Ryan Nelson- Recruit Nelson is a 2012 graduate of Rapid City Stevens High School. Ryan has previous experience in Emergency Services as both an EMT with the Keystone Ambulance Service and as a Firefighter with the Black Hawk Fire Department. Ryan enjoys outdoors activities in his spare time. He and his wife are expecting their first child in November.

David Rohlf- David was raised in Belle Fourche, S.D. and is a 2014 graduate of Belle Fourche High School. Recruit Rohlf has been active in Emergency Services since 2014 as a member of the Belle Fourche Fire Department and as a member of the Rapid Valley Fire Department since 2015. In 2017, David graduated from Western Dakota Tech with a degree in Paramedicine. 

James Swango- Recruit Swango was born and raised in Livingston, Montana and moved to Rapid City in 1999. Because of his small town upbringing, he has a love for wide-open spaces and enjoys fly-fishing and backpacking with his children and wife. Since 2015, James has been a member of the Piedmont Ambulance Service and a member of the Piedmont Fire Department since 2016.

Congratulations and welcome to these eight fine individuals. We are pleased to welcome them to the Rapid City Fire Department Family. 

For media inquiries, questions or comment related to this release, please contact the Rapid City Fire Department at (605)-394-4180.

-END-

Fire Damages Residence on Southwest Side

Firefighters quickly knock down kitchen fire


Rapid City, S.D- On Saturday evening, Rapid City Firefighters responded to a kitchen fire that temporarily displaced a family and caused smoke damage to a home. At 9:44 pm on October 21, Rapid City Firefighters were dispatched to a report of a kitchen fire at 2609 Minnetonka Drive on the southwest side of the city. When crews arrived, smoke was coming from the front door of the home.

When firefighters entered the structure, they found a fire in the kitchen of the residence. They were able to quickly put out the fire. A thorough check of the home found that no fire had extended into the walls or ceiling of the home. Moderate smoke damage was sustained throughout the home.


The occupants of the home were able to quickly evacuate and call 9-1-1. None of the occupants at home during the fire were injured. The American Red Cross, serving Central and Western South Dakota, arrived on scene to assist the occupants of the home with immediate needs.

The cause of the fire was determined to have been accidental and remains under investigation. 

The Rapid City Fire Department would like to take this opportunity to remind citizens that fires grow quickly. Because of modern furnishings and modern construction, the amount of time that you have to escape a burning home is less than ever before. Know two ways out of every room in your home. In addition to having two ways out, make sure smoke alarms are installed outside of each sleeping area, test your smoke alarms monthly, and practice your home fire escape plan. Your escape plan should include a meeting place in front of the home. For more information on smoke alarms and exit planning, please contact the Rapid City Fire Departments Fire and Life Safety Division at (605)-394-5233. 

For media inquiries, questions or comments related to this release, please contact the Rapid City Fire Department Fire at (605)-394-4180.

-END-


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Afternoon Fire Heavily Damages Southwest Rapid City Home



Rapid City, S.D. - Just before 4:20 pm, multiple companies from the Rapid City Fire Department as well as the Whispering Pines Fire Department were dispatched to a report of a structure fire at 6835 Sahalee Dr. At the time of dispatch, Pennington County 9-1-1 had received multiple calls reporting the fire. In addition to the numerous 9-1-1 calls, Rapid City Fire Headquarters also received a flurry of calls reporting the fire. A very large, dark column of smoke was clearly visible from all areas of Rapid City.

When crews from Fire Station 6 arrived on scene, they reported a single family dwelling that was heavily involved in fire. The fire was threatening an adjacent structure. Crews were able to quickly begin applying water to the fire  in the building of origin and protecting the adjacent structure simultaneously. Fire Engine 5 arrived shortly after Engine 6 and was able to obtain a water supply from a nearby hydrant.

The main fire was knocked down by 5 pm. Crews were able to locate and extinguish many hot spots by about 7:30 pm. A Rapid City Fire Department crew will remain on scene well into the night to ensure no additional hot spots flare up. An adjacent structure sustained minor damage as a result of radiant heat from the building of origin.

No one was home at the time of the fire and there were no injuries to civilians. A number of family pets did not survive the fire and a number of others are unaccounted for at the time of this release. One firefighter was treated for heat related illness.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Rapid City Fire Department Fire and Life Safety Division. The American Red Cross serving Central and Western South Dakota was on scene to provide assistance to the displaced occupants.

The RCFD would like to thank Pennington County Fire, the Whispering Pines Fire Department, the North Haines Fire Department, Montana Dakota Utilities, Black Hills Energy, and the Rapid City Police Department and Pennington County 9-1-1 Communications for their prompt, professional assistance with today's fire.

The RCFD would like to take the opportunity to remind the public that unnecessary traffic in the area of an emergency scene can create difficulty for responders. While we understand that many times there is a good deal of public interest in incidents such as a building fire, that interest can hinder emergency response. In the event of such an emergency, please choose an alternate route if possible or avoid the area until the response is completed to allow responders to easily navigate the area around the scene.

An update regarding this incident is not anticipated at this time. Please contact Lt. Jim Bussell, Public Information Officer with the Rapid City Fire Department, at (605)-394-4180 for questions or comment related to this release.

-END-

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Update on Crash Involving RCFD Ambulance

Drivers reminded to yield to emergency vehicles





Rapid City, S.D. – The crash that occurred yesterday at 5th and Omaha Streets involving a Rapid City Fire Department ambulance was investigated by the Rapid City Police Department. According to the RCPD:

The ambulance was westbound on Omaha Street with its emergency lights and sirens activated. As the ambulance approached the intersection with 5th street, it encountered several vehicles stopped at the intersection in the through lanes of traffic. In order to make its way through the intersection, it stopped in the left-hand turn lanes, made sure traffic was clear of the intersection, and proceeded with a right turn to go north on 5th street. As it did so, a passenger vehicle in one of the westbound through lanes on Omaha Street attempted to continue straight through the intersection. The passenger vehicle struck the passenger side of the ambulance. The driver of this vehicle was cited for Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle.

Both Rapid City Fire Department Paramedics involved in the crash were transported to Rapid City Regional Hospital. They were evaluated and released.

As a reminder, the Rapid City Fire Department will take this opportunity to remind the public to come to a complete stop when encountering emergency vehicles with their lights and siren activated. Where reasonably possible, pull to the right and stop when you see flashing emergency lights or hear a siren. Come to a complete stop and wait until the emergency vehicle has passed. 

For questions related to this release, please contact the Rapid City Fire Department Public Information Officer at (605)-394-4180.

-END-

Monday, August 28, 2017


RCFD Ambulance Involved in Crash

Rapid City, S.D. – Just before 11 am this morning a Rapid City Fire Department ambulance was responding to a medical emergency in north Rapid City when it was involved in a crash. The ambulance and crew, whose call sign is Medic 1, was traveling west on Omaha Street toward 5th St. The ambulance and crew were in the inside westbound lane and had come to a stop in preparation to make a right hand turn to go north on 5th St. A vehicle traveling west collided with the ambulance in the intersection. The ambulance was impacted in the front passenger door. The impact temporarily trapped the Paramedic in the passenger seat.

The crew, despite the collision, remained calm and immediately requested that an ambulance respond to the initial 9-1-1 call for service. Units responding to the crash scene were quickly able to access both medics and begin treatment as well as attend to the occupant of the other vehicle. Three individuals were transported to a local hospital including both crew members of Medic 1. All three individuals sustained non-life threatening injuries.

The Rapid City Police Department is investigating the circumstances surrounding the crash. The specific details are not available at this time. A reserve ambulance from the RCFD fleet has already been brought in and is staffed with an Advanced Life Support Crew.

The Rapid City Fire Department would like to take this opportunity to remind the public to come to a complete stop when encountering emergency vehicles with their lights and siren activated. Where reasonably possible, pull to the right and stop when you see flashing emergency lights or hear a siren. Come to a complete stop and wait until the emergency vehicle has passed.

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.

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