Rapid City Firefighters gaining experience, confidence through survival training

Training professionals at RCFD are putting firefighters through a course designed to prepare them for worst-case scenarios - to keep them confident and calm in life-threatening calls for service.

RAPID CITY, S.D. —In a moment’s notice, firefighters are called to action – sometimes having to risk their own lives.

Training for members of the Rapid City Fire Department prepares them for those scenarios – but in this case – they’re using lessons from their fallen brothers to prepare a worst-case scenario in their survival training course.

“If we had collapse or backdraft or something where you’re disoriented and lost, it’s being able to get your way out,” said Captain Mike Bartling with RCFD.

Different scenarios that included firefighters finding their way through a collapsed building, where wires fall on them, in a race against time and their air supply.

“Going through the academy, doing all your hard work, keeping those things in mind to to stay calm to conserve your air,” said Daniel Sandvig, a Firefighter and EMT with RCFD. “Just knowing where you’re at, feeling what’s going on is the biggest thing.”

After watching a few rounds – I decided it was time for a go in the obstacle course. A couple caveats though – I wasn’t in full gear and I knew the obstacle course – unlike those before me who went through it.

Rcfd Training 3

And finally – another part of this training – you can’t see anything.

I suited up.

For context, I weigh about 220 pounds, now you add about another 90 pounds with all the gear I was wearing – it sheds somewhat of a light on what RCFD crew have to deal with.

I maneuvered – and with a little help – eventually I made it through.

It was tough – and after quick vitals check – I certainly needed some air.

Hoping to shed a light a on just some of the training facing rapid city firefighters.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News