Rapid City Fire Chief Rod Seals announces retirement after 25 years of service

UPDATE: Mayor Steve Allender has released a statement on Seals’ career.

“Chief Rod Seals has devoted a quarter century of service to the City of Rapid City and its residents, serving numerous capacities in the department,” Allender said. “He has made many valuable contributions to the Rapid City Fire Department over the years and his tireless commitment to the City, its residents and to his firefighters and fire staff is to be commended.  He has left a great legacy and big boots to fill.  On behalf of the citizens of Rapid City, I congratulate him on his many years of dedicated service and wish him well in retirement.”


RAPID CITY, S.D. — After 25 years of serving the citizens of Rapid City and the surrounding area, Rapid City Fire Chief Rod Seals has announced his retirement.

In a letter to Mayor Steve Allender, Seals said his decision came after a “forecasted budget crisis” that left Seals “very concerned.”

Seals wrote, “Since I am the highest paid city employee that is eligible to retire, not doing so would be hypocritical on my part, especially when given orders to encourage those that can retire to do so in order to lessen our payroll expenses.”

Seals also said “I hope the savings to the city by me retiring will help to stave off any potential future layoffs of employees.”

In closing, Seals wrote, “My decision is bittersweet but I look forward to seeing the fire department grow and succeed in new ways into the future. There are many smart and talented people that work for the Rapid City Fire Department, and their collective strength is the backbone to the service we provide the community.”

Seals was sworn in as Chief on Jan. 12, 2018. Prior to that, he served as Interim Fire Chief following the retirement of Mike Maltaverne.

Throughout his 25-year-career, Seals served in many capacities including as a member of the RCFD Specialty Rescue Team, Captain at Fire Station 8 at the Rapid City Regional Airport, Battalion Chief, Fire Operations Chief.

You can view Seals’ letter to Mayor Allender below.

R. Seals letter

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News