Monday, May 14, 2018

National Sprinkler Awareness Contest

Official Rules and Information

Win a one-night hotel stay!

Celebrate National Fire Sprinkler Awareness Day May 19, 2018, and win a one-night hotel stay for your Sprinkler Selfies. Post a selfie of you and your fire sprinkler with “#sprinklerselfie” and comment “I’m protected at [location]” to this post.  On Friday, May 18 at 4:00 PM we will randomly select two Sprinkler Selfies for a stay at Cadillac Jack’s Gaming Resort in Deadwood or Fairfield Inn & Suites in Rapid City.

Each entry must be a unique person and location combination. For example; If you have fire sprinklers at your work, at your two children’s school, and at home, you could submit up to six entries: 1 of you and your work fire sprinkler, 1 of each of your children in their school, and one of you at home, one of the older child at home, and one of the younger child at home. You would need to post each of the six photos with #sprinklerselfie and reply to this post 6 separate times with I’m protected at work, I’m protected at school, I’m protected at school, I’m protected at home, I’m protected at home, and I’m protected at home.

Learn more about the need for home fire sprinklers at

A big thank you goes out to LIV Hospitality for the one-night stay Cadillac Jack’s Gaming Resort and the one-night stay at Fairfield Inn & Suites gift certificates. Gift certificates must be used before March 31, 2019, and there are some blackout dates.  

For questions about fire sprinklers or contest rules, please contact Fire and Life Safety Specialist Monica Colby at 605-394-5233.

#sprinklerselfie #firesprinklerssavelives

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

An Open "Thank-You" to Our Local Media

Yesterday, multiple emergency services agencies from across Pennington County responded to a particularly dangerous and dynamic incident involving a fire at an ammunition manufacturing facility on the edge of the communities of Box Elder and Rapid City. There was a significant public impact and an abundance of danger for those nearby.

Today, I wish to take the opportunity to thank a group that provided a great deal of assistance with the incident that many times does not get the thanks that is deserved. The group that I'm referring to is our local media.

While some of my counterparts across the nation struggle with their media relationships, I enjoy my relationships with our media. We are all respectful of each other’s positions and responsibilities. I try to be aware of their needs and deadlines. They are almost always respectful of the fact that I may not be able to immediately get them what they need but will do my level best to try.

Yesterday, as the incident continued to unfold, our media did an outstanding job in being flexible. In particular, I was very pleased with their patience as we moved staging locations multiple times. As we worked to evacuate businesses and close roads, local media outlets did a great job of helping to disseminate that information. Today, I have spent considerable time wading through the accumulation of articles, videos and social media pieces covering the incident. I honestly feel as though the local media did great work in finding a balance between telling the story and providing public safety information.

Again, on behalf of myself and the Rapid City Fire Department as well as the agencies involved in yesterday’s response, thank you to our local media for your professionalism and for your hard work. It did not go unnoticed.

-Lt. Jim Bussell
Public Information Officer
Rapid City Fire Department

Thursday, April 26, 2018

RCFD Recruit Academy Underway

Academy includes eight new hires, seven previous hires

Rapid City, S.D. – The Rapid City Fire Department is pleased to introduce eight individuals who began their careers as Rapid City Firefighters on April 16. The eight employees are beginning their second week of the Rapid City Fire Department academy. They will be joined in the academy by seven employees that have been working in an EMS only capacity since November of 2017. The academy is an eleven-week training program that will test the candidates mentally and physically as they prepare to serve the citizens of Rapid City.

Steven Sprague: Recruit Sprague was born and raised in Rapid City. Steven says that he has long dreamed of being a Rapid City Firefighter and he is excited that his dream is now a reality. Steven and his girlfriend have three sons and a daughter. He enjoys backpacking, snowboarding and martial arts.

Charles Siferd- Charles Siferd is a native of Kenosha, Wisconsin. At the age of 17, Recruit Siferd obtained his EMT certification. He then went on to become a Hospital Corpsman in the United States Navy Reserves and is currently attached to the 4th Marine Division. Charles has since obtained Paramedic certification and is excited to begin a career in fire and EMS in Rapid City.

Cody Heupel- Cody Heupel is a certified Paramedic. Cody brings with him previous fire and EMS experience with the Sturgis Fire Department and Sturgis Ambulance Service as well as the Keystone Ambulance Service. Cody is married and has an eight month-old son. When he is not serving his community, Cody enjoys outdoors pursuits and is an avid Colorado Avalanche fan.

Tyra Wheeler- Tyra Wheeler was born and raised in San Diego, California and comes to the RCFD after a nearly 11 year career with the Imperial Beach Fire Department where she reached the rank of Engineer/Paramedic. There, she was the department’s first female firefighter. Tyra and her husband, Chase, are currently working toward their goal of operating a cattle ranch that would serve as a retreat for combat military veterans, law enforcement and first responders. 

Ethan Esposti- Ethan Esposti is a Black Hills native that was born and raised outside of Keystone, South Dakota. Ethan is a graduate of Hill City High School. Recruit Esposti gained fire service experience as a member of the Battle Creek Fire Protection District and the Keystone Ambulance Service as well as the Hill City Ambulance Service. Recruit Esposti is a certified Paramedic and enjoys outdoors pursuits and ice hockey.

Wade Waugh- Wade Waugh is originally from Paxton, Nebraska where he was a 2012 graduate of Paxton High School. Recruit Waugh is a graduate of Chadron State College with a degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Agribusiness and Finance. Wade has previous fire and EMS experience as a member of the Chadron Fire Department. In December of 2017, Recruit Waugh obtained his Paramedic certification. He is excited to be a Rapid City Firefighter.

Roy Kottwitz- Roy Kottwitz is also a life-long resident of the Black Hills. Recruit Kottwitz was born and raised in Piedmont, South Dakota and is a graduate of Sturgis Brown High School. Recruit Kottwitz is a second generation firefighter following in the footsteps of his father who was a firefighter at Ellsworth Air Force Base as well as Piedmont Fire Department. Roy has been a volunteer with Piedmont Fire and Piedmont Ambulance for a number of years as well as a full-time Piedmont Fire Department employee for the last six years.
Nick Knotek- Recruit Knotek was born and raised in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Nick obtained his Paramedic certification in 2017 at Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, Nebraska. He was a volunteer firefighter in Crescent, Iowa and worked for a private ambulance company in Omaha, Nebraska. In his spare time, Recruit Knotek enjoys playing guitar and rock climbing in his free time.

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.

Above: Recruit Class 2018-1


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Information Regarding Planned Prescribed Burn at Outdoor Campus West

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

RCFD Awards Two With Life Saving Awards

Awards are a result of heroism during February fire

On Tuesday, the Rapid City Fire Department was on hand at North Middle School and Knollwood Elementary School to present Civilian Life Saving awards to two outstanding young people for saving the lives of their younger siblings during a February 18, 2018 fire in Rapid City. The Civilian Life Saving Award is the highest honor presented to civilians by the Rapid City Fire Department.

To learn more, please read the narratives below. These narratives were shared with students today during our presentations.

The Rapid City Fire Department wishes to extend it's thanks to the staff and administration of Rapid City Area Schools, North Middle School and Knollwood Elementary School for their support in helping us make these presentations today.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018