The Operations Division provides emergency and nonemergency services, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Operations Division consists of Fire Operations and Medical Operations.
Firefighters respond to calls for assistance from our seven fire stations which are strategically located throughout the city. In 2015, we responded to 17,012 calls for service. This represented a 10.3% increase in call volume from 2014, and nearly a 71% increase from 2006. These calls consisted of everything from fires to cardiac arrests, odor investigations to patient assists, and children locked in vehicles to long distance ambulance transfers. While not answering calls, firefighters are busy training, conducting fire prevention inspections, presenting public education programs, performing equipment and station maintenance, and participating in physical fitness exercises. Rapid City firefighters are divided into three shifts, with each shift working 24 hours at a time. The 24-hour shift begins at 7:00 am and ends at 7:00 am the following day.
Firefighters work, eat and sleep at the fire station during their 24-hour shift. During a typical shift firefighters start their day by checking their emergency equipment to ensure that everything is in proper working order from their personal protective clothing to every piece of equipment on their emergency apparatus, and the apparatus itself. Housekeeping duties are addressed early in the day, and though not as exciting as other duties, your firefighters are proud of their fire stations and keep them in top shape.
There are 117 firefighters assigned to the Division; 88 have achieved Journeyman status, the remaining 29 are climbing the ladder of our 4-year Apprenticeship Training Program. All firefighters are trained and certified to meet the requirements of the State of South Dakota as Emergency Medical Technicians. Additionally, 48 of the 122 firefighters are certified as Emergency Medical Technician Paramedics.