Rapid City Fire Department remained busy over Sturgis Rally
Along with being called to assist three larger incidents, RCFD answered nearly 700 calls during the Sturgis Rally
RAPID CITY, S.D. – The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally tends to be a time that more calls go in to the Rapid City Fire Department (RCFD), but this year kept crews busier with a few calls to assist a scene.
The RCFD had an average year for the rally with nearly 700 calls, averaging about 70 calls a shift per day.
“The rally tends to see a little bit of an increase in call volume, due to the number of folks in the area, but we still have to respond to all the medical emergencies. We had a number of motor vehicle accidents that week, a number of fires — whether it be structure fires, grass fires or smaller fires during that time,” Brian Povandra, Rapid City Division Chief of Fire Operations, said.
With Tuesday, Aug. 9 and Wednesday, Aug. 10 being their busiest days, they had 86 and 84 calls respectively — answering mutual aid calls outside the department’s normal district.
“We had on-duty personnel respond to those incidents. We had to backfill the stations to maintain normal operations. So our firefighters had to come back in,” Povandra said. “We sent pages out and backfilled the stations so we could still maintain normal operations during those larger incidents.”
Crews assisted with a grass fire north of Wall on Tuesday. Later Tuesday evening and continuing into Wednesday, the Rapid City/Pennington County Water Rescue Team and ROV Team assisted with a drowning at Angostura.
“Our firefighters train day in and day out and they’re prepared for any incident. We’re an all-hazards department that responds to a number of different incidents. These incidents just happen to be larger ones, but our personnel are trained and ready to respond to them,” Povandra said. “They handle them as professionally as we hope they would. All of our personnel did a fantastic job of mitigating the scenes they were on during that time.”
Throughout the ten days at the rally, RCFD responded to 444 EMS calls, 14 fires 25 motor vehicle accidents and 213 other incidents.