HAZMAT unit proven to be an essential force in the RCFD

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Firefighters at Station 6 do more than just fight fires, they are also trained to handle hazardous material and biological hazards for most of the Black Hills region.

Wednesday’s beet juice molasses spill activated this special unit, along with other events that have occurred over the last year such as the train derailment in New Underwood, and the overturned gas truck in Spearfish.

The Rapid City Fire Department says the remote location from large cities such as Minneapolis and Denver make it necessary for everyday firefighters to be trained in multiple fields here in the Black Hills.

“Geographically and literally we are on an island. We really have to work together and the same goes for HAZMAT, and that’s why our partnership with the 82nd Civil Support Team is so important but also our counterparts across the state. It’s very important to have the working relationship and that interchangeability,” said Lt. Jim Bussell, Rapid City Fire Department.

Firefighters must go through extensive training in order to handle hazardous materials and biological hazards, Station 6 currently has four permanent crew members.

Categories: Local News