Rapid City sticks with interim fire chief

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Rapid City’s new fire chief won’t have any difficulty getting acclimated to his new job. That’s because he’s already been in the top spot for a year.

Wednesday, it was announced that Rod Seals – a 22-year veteran of the Rapid City Fire Department – would be the next chief. Seals had been serving as the interim chief since December 2016.

While Mayor Steve Allender made the selection, it still has to be confirmed by the Rapid City Council. That will be Jan. 16. If confirmed, Seals will be sworn in as the City's 18th fire chief.

"The citizens of the Rapid City area are served by some of the top fire and emergency service responders in the country," Allender said. "Rod Seals is a true professional. Throughout his fire service career in Rapid City, and especially during the past several months in an interim chief capacity, Rod has demonstrated the leadership and management qualities to lead the Rapid City Fire Department and its personnel."

Seals' career with the department began in June 1995. He served from July 2011 to October 2015 as division chief of fire operations. In November 2015, he was named deputy fire chief and served in that capacity until taking on interim fire chief duties.

"It has been an honor and privilege serving the Rapid City community over the last 22 years," Seals said. "I look forward to the next challenge serving as fire chief where I get to continue working alongside some of the best emergency responders in the nation."