First responders braved the blizzard to keep people safe

 Pennington county fire departments prepare for the blizzard.
Pennington county fire departments prepare for the blizzard. (KOTA)
Published: Dec. 2, 2019 at 6:41 PM CST
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Rapid City and Pennington County issued no travel advisories this weekend meaning folks should stay off the roads unless they absolutely have to drive somewhere.

And some people were out keeping the roads and the community safe.

"We're ready for anything at any time."

That's the message Steven Monteforte from the Piedmont Fire Department had to say about Saturday's blizzard.

"With incoming storms like that, especially when you are not really sure how much it's going to dump and everything, you want to be safe than sorry," said Monteforte. "Like I said we have to uphold the commitment to the communities so we made sure that we're overstaffed so that we can get the job done."

Even though the Piedmont Fire Department didn't receive out of the ordinary calls because of the blizzard, they were ready for anything, as were the cleanly plowed roads.

But Rapid City wasn't as clean cut.

Even though the city did what they could to clear the roads, some routes that first responders had to take were still covered in heavy snow.

Robert Rendon is a firefighter and paramedic for the Rapid City Fire Department.

"A lot of them were not passable by certain vehicles that we had. A lot of our ambulances couldn't get to the patients of the 9-1-1 calls and so we'd use our fire apparatus to get the patients from their house to the ambulance," said Rendon.

One of the ambulances even got stuck in the snow, but thanks to extensive preparation and quick thinking everyone was safe and got where they needed.

Fire departments around the Black Hills weren't the only ones out during the blizzard, the Police Department and Sheriff's Office were out there surviving the cold with them.

Especially Captain Tony Harrison of the Pennington County Sheriff's Office who filmed PSA videos for the offices' social media.

"We're not running up and down the streets of the county doing regular patrols like you might see because we don't want to get stuck. So we were hanging out at our substations, we were hanging out in big parking lots waiting for that, we were being reactive versus proactive because we can't get folks stuck and we can't get them abandoned."

Only two patrol cars from the Pennington County Sheriff's Office got stuck in the snow, but they were able to get out due to help from passerby's.

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