Rapid City Fire Department out to Fill the Boot

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Fire trucks and firefighters were all over Rapid City Wednesday afternoon, but no cause for alarm. They were raising money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

The Rapid City Fire Department was out in full force to Fill the Boot, an annual event to raise funds and awareness for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. For more than 67 years, Fill the Boot has been a strong fire fighter tradition nationwide.

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After the Rapid City Fire Department unionized, 10 years ago, they also joined the effort. Following it’s first virtual event last year, firefighters were excited to get back into the community.

“Usually we see people on their worst days,” said RCFD firefighter and paramedic, Rachel Hobbs. “This is a chance to get to see people in the community when they’re out getting groceries, or hanging out around town, so it’s nice to get that interaction as well. And everyone’s very supportive, which we really appreciate.”

Not only is an in-person event a great opportunity to speak with locals, it happens to be the best way to raise funds.

“Last year was our first ever virtual Fill the Boot because of the pandemic,” said RCFD public information officer, Tessa Jaeger. “So, we only raised $515 last year when we did the virtual campaign – when the year before, we did a little more than $47,000. So that kinda puts it into perspective for people how important it is for our crews to be out on the streets collecting donations from the community. It’s a huge huge difference. It’s not just a little bit, it’s huge.”

The department hopes to break it’s 2017 record of $62,000, but is glad to be getting back to normal. Funds raised stay local, and go to research, medicine, and summer camps for children with muscular dystrophy that firefighters help with. 

Jaeger said, “So that’s one of the main driving goals, is to help these kids get to go to camp and let them have a good time also.”

Categories: ConnectCenter1-Events, Local News, South Dakota News