Monday, November 14, 2016

Fire Chief Mike Maltaverne Announces Retirement

Maltaverne to end 26 year career


Rapid City, S.D. - After a successful 26 year career with the Rapid City Fire Department, Fire Chief Mike Maltaverne is announcing his retirement, effective December 31, 2016. Chief Maltaverne informed Mayor Steve Allender and the organization last week.
Chief Maltaverne began his career with the Rapid City Fire Department in September of 1990. Since that time, Maltaverne has served in several important positions within the department including Firefighter/Medic, Operations Lieutenant, Education and Information Lieutenant, Operations Captain, Assistant Chief of Education and Information. He was named Rapid City Fire Chief on April 27, 2010.
“I am able to move on to the next chapter of my life knowing full-well that I have been able to accomplish virtually every one of my goals for my career,” said Maltaverne. “Most people are not afforded the opportunity to step away at the top of their game. I am fortunate to be able to do that”.
As top accomplishments, Maltaverne cites long range planning as one of the most important. This includes completion and implementation of the Rapid City Fire Department strategic plan, long range vehicle replacement planning, a schedule for key equipment purchases such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and radios, and future station locations. “All of these things point back to creating financial stability for the department”, said Maltaverne. “It helps eliminate peaks and valleys in the budget”.
Maltaverne said that improving and increasing the level of professionalism within the Rapid City Fire Department is another accomplishment that he takes great pride in. The advent of the Rapid City Fire Department Honor Guard, Local 1040 Pipe and Drum, clearly stated vision, values and mission are examples of that professionalism. “To be able to provide these things brings a higher level of credibility for the organization”, Maltaverne said.
In 2017, the Rapid City Fire Department will be fully staffed; an accomplishment that Maltaverne says is among the biggest. “Full staffing means that the organization is at a level that best suits the needs of the community”.
Chief Maltaverne has had a very rewarding career with the Rapid City Fire Department. “I got to work alongside the most dedicated group of employees there is,” said Maltaverne. “We were able to create a proactive approach to managing and mitigating risk in the community. We have also been successful in fostering solid and productive relationships with cooperating agencies and organizations.”
After retirement, Chief Maltaverne will re-locate to Bozeman, MT where he has accepted a position with the Bozeman Fire Department.
Regarding Chief Maltaverne’s retirement, Mayor Steve Allender offered these remarks: "Chief Maltaverne's career has been dedicated to the safety of the citizens of the Rapid City community and, as a community, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Mike for his tireless efforts in educating the community on fire safety, his leadership and guidance of the department, and his sheer commitment to our citizens," said Mayor Allender.  "We thank him and wish him all the best in his retirement."
The Rapid City Fire Department wishes Chief Maltaverne all the best as he begins a new chapter in his life. We thank him for his dedicated service to our community and organization, for his mentorship and for his leadership. We will miss you, Mike.
For questions or comment related to this release, please contact Lt. Jim Bussell at 605-394-4180


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Local 1040 Members Home After Successful World Finals

Rapid City, S.D. - The Rapid City Fire Department Combat Challenge team has returned to Rapid City after a successful week at the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge World Challenge XXV in Montgomery, Alabama. The team finished 15th out of 41 in the team standings.

The team, comprised of Firefighter/Medic Justin Perkins, Firefighter/Paramedic Chris “Paco” Ciocarlin, Firefighter/Medic Marshall Keefe, Firefighter/Paramedic Kris Anderson, and Firefighter/Medic Mark Falcon, had four members in the top 100 individual runs. Four members of the five member team posted personal best runs during the World Challenge XXV.

The “Lion’s Den”, reserved for those competitors that run the course in less than or equal to 100 seconds, now includes Firefighters Keefe and Anderson after runs of 1:37.30 and 1:39.93 respectively. Perkins, who was already a member of the “Lion’s Den”, also turned in a qualifying run of 1.39.64 during the finals. Falcon turned in a personal best 2.01.00 in only the third competition of his career.

During the Team Open Relay competition, Local 1040 members ran a department-record 1.17.21. This was good enough for 21st overall out of 56.

The Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge is billed as “the toughest two minutes in sports”. During the competition, firefighters dressed in full personal protective equipment (PPE), including Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) run an obstacle course designed to push their limits mentally and physically.

Competitors begin with a five-story stair climb while shoulder-carrying a 42 lb. hose pack. Once they reach the top, competitors pull a separate 42 lb. hose pack and 7 lb. rope up the five story tower and deposit the rolled hose in a box. Then, the competitor runs down the tower to a machine known as the “Keiser Force Machine”. During this obstacle, competitors must drive a 160 lb. beam five feet with a nine-and-a-half pound sledge hammer. Upon completion, competitors run 140 feet, picks up a charged 1.75 inch diameter hose-line and sprints 80 feet where they spray water quickly onto a small target. The competitor must then drop the hose, pick up a 175 lb. mannequin and drag the mannequin backwards for 100 feet. Most competitors can finish the course quicker than the author of this release can write about it.

These employees exemplify that health and wellness are the key components to a firefighter’s ability to perform job related tasks quickly, efficiently, and safely. The Rapid City Fire Department is very proud of Team Local 1040 and their performance on the world stage. No one within our organization is surprised by their performance as we have the opportunity to see the dedication that they put into their craft on a near daily basis. We congratulate Team 1040 members on an outstanding showing and thank them for representing our department, city, and state in such an honorable fashion.

For questions or comment related to this release, please contact Lt. Jim Bussell, Rapid City Fire Department Public Information Officer, at (605)-863-0061 or via e-mail at

Team 1040 at the World Challenge. Team members L to R: FF/Medic Justin Perkins, FF/Medic Marshall Keefe, FF/Paramedic Kris Anderson, FF/Medic Mark Falcon, FF/Paramedic Chris "Paco" Ciocarlin
Photo Courtesy RCFD Combat Challenge Team


SD Wildland Fire Plans Prescribed Burn for Today, 11-2-16

Custer, S.D. - Below is a release from SD Wildland Fire, SD Game Fish and Parks, and Custer State Park regarding the Apple Tree Prescribed Fire in Custer State Park planned for today. In addition, ignitions will continue on the Long Draw RX near Hill City today. Smoke will be clearly visible. The public is reminded that this is a prescribed burn and it is not necessary to call 9-1-1 to report the smoke. 

Please contact SD Wildland Fire at the contact information below for questions or comments related to the release.

Interagency – News Release

Contacts:   Jeni Lawver, (605) 393-8011 or cell (605) 381-7232, South Dakota Wildland Fire Division

Date: 11/01/16
Prescribed Fire to be Ignited in Custer State Park

Custer, S.D. The South Dakota Department of Agriculture’s Wildland Fire Division, Custer State Park and South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks are planning to ignite the Apple Tree prescribed fire on Wednesday, Nov. 2. Ignition will continue Thursday, Nov. 3, as conditions allow.

Firefighters are planning on burning approximately 624 acres. This project is located in Custer State Park, off of the southern end of the Wildlife Loop Road.

This interagency prescribed fire is a cooperative effort with grant funding provided by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. This grant funding helps meet land management objectives that otherwise could not have been accomplished due to budget constraints.

Objectives of the burn are to improve wildlife habitat, provide quality forage and reduce hazardous fuels in an effort to create and maintain a forested landscape that inhibits the spread of unwanted fire to the crowns of trees. Weather conditions will be monitored closely to ensure prescribed fire conditions align with management objectives for the burn.

Prescribed fire is used to maintain healthy native vegetation and is needed to prevent the encroachment of invasive species. Fire also reduces the hazardous buildup of debris and dead vegetation which can fuel wildfires.

Smoke may be visible in the surrounding areas, and can linger for several days after ignition has been completed. Fire crews will secure, patrol and monitor fire lines as appropriate for public and firefighter safety. For more information on smoke management visit:

Agriculture is a major contributor to South Dakota’s economy, generating $25.6 billion in annual economic activity and employing over 115,000 South Dakotans. The South Dakota Department of Agriculture's mission is to promote, protect and preserve this industry for today and tomorrow. Visit us online at or find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.