Rapid City Fire Department received only a few winter storm emergency calls

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - The Rapid City Fire Department brought out tire chains and the Haaglund for the winter storm. But firefighters did not have to use their special vehicles quite as much as they were anticipating.

Though there were strong winds and heavy snow, the Rapid City Fire Department did not have many winter storm emergencies. Firefighters only responded to three calls. The calls came from the north and east side of Rapid City. The fire department's public information officer, Jim Bussel, says ambulance crews could not reach the homes. So firefighters used the Haaglund to get closer.

Bussel says a few calls means more people took the storm seriously and found shelter quickly.

"It appears as though people did a great job hearing the warnings and hunkering down and being safe and staying put. So that there weren't a lot of rescues. Kind of the opposite of the way that it was in 2013," Bussel said.

One local man says after being let out of work early he went to Cornerstone Rescue Mission for shelter. He remembers back in 2013 the winter storm left behind snapped trees, blocked roads and power outages. He says he thought this winter storm would leave the city in the same condition.

"So I'd have to say that was a lot worse than this. This is more of a scare thing. I think everybody got really scared of it because of what happened in the past. But I think we'll do fine," said Clayton Merill, a Rapid City local.