South Dakota first responders honored at Memorial Park

State Trooper Clay Kartak showcases rollover crash simulator to encourage seat belt safety.

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Rapid City first responders were honored at Memorial Park Saturday, giving the public a chance to meet them face-to-face and see what they do to protect and serve our community.

From search and rescue to the highway patrol, Rapid City emergency teams brought their vehicles, uniforms, even simulators to the park.

A collaboration between Regional Health and local first responders made this second annual First Responders Appreciation Event possible.

One state trooper explained what makes his job so fulfilling.

"Helping somebody alongside of the road, you're helping people during their maybe most tragic part in their life, whether they were a witness to a bad car crash where somebody passed away or they are having a flat tire alongside of the road, and you show up on scene and fix that flat tire for them and get them back on the road. Just bringing a little bit of joy into somebody's life after they've experienced something difficult," said South Dakota Highway Patrol State Trooper Clay Kartak.

The event coordinator at Regional Health said she couldn't do her job without the help of the first responders who bring in patients in.

All the proceeds from the event this year are going to the Sturgis Volunteer Fire Department and ambulance service, to honor fallen firefighter David Fischer and his family.