Volunteers wanted for Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Sturgis ambulance service officials are looking for volunteers to fill a first aid tent for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

The tent is a way for volunteers to work alongside professionals to help with minor injuries that need to be treated but don't necessarily require a hospital visit. In the past, the tent was staffed by volunteers from the American Red Cross in Rapid City. Last year, Red Cross leadership took a closer look at their priorities and their budget and decided the service didn't line up with the organization's scope. This will be the second year the Red Cross has opted out of hosting a first aid tent.

Richard Smith, executive director of the local American Red Cross said they would love to restart the tent, but it's a matter of resource deployment.

"So it's not really a core mission of the American Red Cross to provide first aid tents," Smith said. "Really our core missions are providing for disaster relief for people who have had things like tornados or house fires."

The decision to stop managing the tent ultimately came down to money. Smith said he really wanted to make sure he was spending donor dollars appropriately.

"It's quite an ordeal because we managed it through the week of rally," Smith said. "Getting the volunteers was again one of the key resources. How do we get the right people there, because we wanted it to be professional. You want to provide that best service.

If you would like to volunteer, contact Shawn with the Sturgis ambulance service at 605-347-5801.