Local fire departments work together, even when they need new equipment

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RAPID CITY, S.D (KOTA TV) - Helping your neighbor is nothing new to fire departments in KOTA Territory, which was reinforced by the Rapid City Fire Department passing down one of their trucks.

Whispering Pines Volunteer Fire Department and the Rapid City Fire Department have a partnership where either station will respond if the other needs assistance. The two departments have also been sharing a brush truck.

"We have the joint partnership where if whispering pines had something in their area we would automatically send that truck out into their area to help to assist with their wildland fires," says Nick Carlson, RCFD division chief.

Recently, RCFD bought a new truck for station one to better support Rapid City.

"We offered Whispering Pines the opportunity to have their truck or to take over sole possession of it and they were very excited," says Carlson.

By passing down their brush truck, Whispering Pines was able to pass on an engine to Interior, who was then able to donate two brush trucks to the Scenic Volunteer fire department.

"There's always room for debate on purchase or pass it on," says Carlson. "We really look at the benefit, you know what's the great benefit to both agencies."

Carlson says having the surrounding departments' help is beneficial for everyone, but it extends past just putting out the fires.

"We have quarterly training that we do. A lot of the neighboring departments that attach to the city, cities boundaries, our guys will go out and do a quarterly training with them to keep those skills refreshed," says Carlson. "Fresh, and usable and flexible amongst the agencies."

On Wednesday, the legal and finance committee approved to officially let Whispering Pines have the fire truck.