Hill City VFD honors former Chief

Honors Chief Art Anderson of the Hill City VFD

HILL CITY S.D. — Firefighters and their families from across the Black Hills gathered in Hill City to honor a long-time fire fighter and chief who passed away several years ago.

On Sunday, the Hill City Volunteer Fire Department dedicated their fire hall in the heart of downtown to their former Fire Chief, Art Anderson. They held an open house, showcasing their modern equipment and building, and to remember the man who made it all possible.

“It’s well overdue,” said Hill City Fire Protection District Chief Craig Comer. “Art did so many things for this service, putting us into the right century at least, and we’ve endeavored to move on from there.”

Chief Art Anderson passed away in 2012 after spending around 25 years with the department. He served as both a firefighter and the Chief. Those closest to him like his wife Sue, said he was dedicated to the fire department, and the community.

“I think its just wonderful to see this many folks, even some of the younger folks that did not know Art, are here today in honor of him,” she said.

In his time in Hill City, fellow firefighters say he had a huge impact and helped grow the department. He played a major role in entering into the fire protection district. That means tax dollars support the department instead of grassroots funding.

“Once he got that started, we were able to buy better equipment,” said Fire District Vice President John Knapp. “We had zero trained firefighters when Art took over as Chief, and one year after, we had 21 people who were state certified. He did a lot to get us going.”

After his passing, his contributions to the Black hills were even recognized by President Barack Obama. And to immortalize Art and his impact on the community, the department dedicated a sign which will hang over the fire hall he helped create, inspiring the next generation of fire fighters one step at a time.

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