Four-day wildland firefighter course held in Black Hawk to give volunteers knowledge in the field and experience

Sean Weber Pointing

Sean Weber, operations captain of the Black Hawk Fire Department, points to a PowerPoint slide during one of the lessons of the S-130/190 class covering basic wildland fire Saturday, Jan. 7 at the Black Hawk Fire Station. (Mackenzie Dahlberg, NewsCenter1)

BLACK HAWK, S.D. – An entry-level wildland firefighter course, hosted by South Dakota Wildland Fire and Black Hawk Fire Department started Saturday, giving people experience and maybe even a desire to pursue the career.

The S-130/190 class teaches the basics of wildland fire to anyone in a fire department in the area that would like to learn more.

The training will continue for three more days.

What they learn:

For the first day, participants learned basic knowledge about wildland fires such as terminology, weather and typography.

Sean Weber, operations captain of the Black Hawk Fire Department, says the information gives everybody a stepping stone and some knowledge before they start actually fighting fires.

“In their final day of class, they will come in and do a hands-on field day where we teach them the basic operations of hand tools, hand line techniques and construction firing devices for setting backfires,” Weber said. “Then we’ll go into further detail of their proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), make sure they have their gloves on, their hardhats, their safety glasses, and their fire shelters.”

Photos of the first day of the S-130/190 class:

Different departments in attendance:

A number of volunteer fire departments were represented at this course including:

  • Argyle Volunteer Fire Department
  • Black Hawk Volunteer Fire Department
  • Box Elder Volunteer Fire Department
  • North Haines Volunteer Fire Department
  • Pringle Volunteer Fire Department
  • Rapid Valley Volunteer Fire Department
  • Sturgis Volunteer Fire Department
  • Whispering Pines Volunteer Fire Department

Why the class is important:

“This is their beginner class. This sets the tone for keeping themselves safe and keeping themselves educated in defending homes or themselves in the case of a fire, grassland, wildfires,” Weber said. “It just gives them the borderline basics so they can start their path, and if they want to further their career, there’s more classes they can take and more qualifications and certifications they can receive.”

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News