RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — 11 new recruits are currently in training to be a member of the Rapid City Fire Department.

Over a week into the Fire Training Academy, these new recruits are hard at work..

The Academy is 12 weeks long. And for the recruits, that is about 500 hours of classroom work and physical training.

“I think it’s going to benefit each and every one of us just to get us mentally prepared, physically prepared the best we possibly can for being on the floor with all of these guys that have years of experience under their belt,” David Riley, recruit, said.

“We teach them everything it takes and they got a long ways to go and a short time to get there but we are going to get them there,” Lt. Roy Kottwitz, Training Lt., said.

By adding 11 firefighters to the department, Lt. Roy Kottwitz, is confident it will help with the high call volume.

“As our call volume increases and things get busier, we need more help out there. We are stretched pretty thin. Last year wasn’t quite a record-breaking year but it wasn’t far off from a record-breaking year but we are turning and burning. We just need all the help we can get out there,” Lt. Kottwitz said.

With 11 more weeks to go, these recruits say they are excited about what the job brings.

“I’m just happy to be here, I am happy to be a part of recruit class 2023 and I’m excited to get out here and do my job,” Riley said.

Graduation for the new recruits will be held on March 24th of this year.