Rapid City Fire Department responds to more than 21,000 calls in 2022

The Early evening news on KOTA Territory TV
Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 6:11 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Prepare, prevent, and protect is the mission statement of the Rapid City Fire Department and the release of their 2022 statistics shows how they’re upholding these values.

The Rapid City Fire Department responded to 21,494 calls for service last year, a minimal increase when compared to the calls in 2021.

The statistics help provide a level of transparency to the community about what the fire department is doing.

“Our name is Rapid City Fire Department, but we do way more than just fire, we obviously have the ambulance service. We also provide a whole different type of calls, so we’ll respond to calls that are high angle rescue, or vehicle extrication, hazardous materials, a whole litany of things we provide for this community,” said Fire Chief Jason Culberson of the Rapid City Fire Department.

Answering almost 21,500 calls last year seems like a lot, but the number is comparable to the previous year.

Culberson attributes the numbers to the co-responders’ program with the Rapid City Police Department, Journey On, Oyate Health Center, and Volunteers of America. The program helps make sure people get the right level of care at the right time.

Additionally, the fire department’s mobile medic, which responds to calls that don’t require an ambulance or fire engine, answered more than 2,000 calls last year.

“A perfect example of that type of situation would be when a bystander is driving down the road and they see someone laying in a park or lying on a sidewalk. They should, if you see something say something, they always call 911, which is good. Historically an ambulance or a fire engine would respond to that, that individual might not need an ambulance or a fire engine,” said Captain Ryan Marcks, for the Rapid City Fire Department’s mobile medic unit.

In 2022 the Rapid City Fire Department evaluated and treated 11,613 people.