Rapid City Fire Department


As we begin our morning, our days, our week, some are just getting off work. They’re finishing a long night to make the rest of our week a little safer. These are the people we’re focusing on. NewsCenter1’s Megan Murat gives us a look at what goes on while you’re sleeping.

RAPID CITY, S.D. – You may see them at your worst times, but they’re always there to help. The Rapid City Fire Department works tirelessly, day and night, to keep people safe.

By the time folks are winding down from their day, the men and women of the fire department still have the other half of their 24-hour shift to go. Between calls, they’re getting ready for the next one.

“For 24 hours you’re getting hammered, doing a lot of work,” said Robert Thompson, firefighter and paramedic. “We’re firefighters first and foremost, so we have to have that knowledge of being a firefighter.”

That means working out every day and training well into the night.

“Sometimes we work up until 9, 10 o’clock at night,” said Thompson.

Calls during the night include more than just fires.

“We don’t have a fire every single day,” said Lt. Jim Bussell, public information officer, firefighter and paramedic with the RCFD. “Hopefully what you’ve seen tonight is we do a lot of other things in the community: medical calls, vehicle crashes and carbon monoxide calls.”

From training on ladders, the department responded to a medical transfer call.

“Somebody who went to Sioux San clinic needs to go to Regional Hospital for a higher level of care, so we’ve got an ambulance going over to transfer them,” said Bussell.

One team, stationed at the Central States Fair rodeo, makes sure staff and riders have on-site medical treatment if needed.

Then another call comes in. “When the call came in, it came in as a difficulty breathing,” said Bussell. “Before we got on scene, it became a cardiac arrest.”

As soon as the call came in, a firetruck and ambulance made their way to the home, deploying every member to handle a different task.

“Everybody has a role, has a job,” said Bussell. “Everyone knows what their job is and performs it quickly.”

Firefighter and Paramedic Ryan Marcks said, “We all work together on a day-to-day basis. We all work very well together.”

Regardless of the outcome of a call, good or bad, it’s always moving forward, getting ready for the next call.

“We’re there to make someone’s worst day a little bit better if we can,” said Marcks.

Firefighter and Paramedic Ethan Esposti said “it can be stressful sometimes. But at the same time, we get two days off that we get to go home and be with our families, rest up and get back at it.”

Marcks enjoys the pace of downtown. “I enjoy staying busy. It’s called the night train, so it makes for long next days off.”

In total, the department answered 66 calls for service throughout their 24 hours on duty.

Watch the Series

Tuesday, Oct. 9 – Logistics Readiness Squadron, Ellsworth AFB

Wednesday, Oct. 10 – Rapid City Fire Department

Thursday, Oct. 11 – Rapid City Police Department

Friday, Oct. 12 – National Weather Service, Rapid City office

Categories: Local News, NC1 Series, While You Were Sleeping