Rapid City Fire Rescue crews are being used all over western KELOLAND. I caught up with Public Information Officer, Jim Bussell, on video chat Wednesday. He told me exactly what these specially trained firefighters are doing to help people facing severe flooding.
The Rapid City Fire Department has been busy. Water Rescue crews just got home from nearly a week of intense work in Pine Ridge.
“Pretty much non-stop. They had a work to rest ratio they had to maintain and they were very close to that. They came back last night, late yesterday afternoon, and then already today they are just hitting the road on another deployment. This time they’re going to be going to Eagle Butte,“ said Rapid City Fire Public Information Officer, Jim Bussell.
They’ll be doing the same type of work in Eagle Butte that they were doing in Pine Ridge.
“People that were in their homes that were safe, but they weren’t able to get supplies like water and food and things like that,“ said Bussell.
The water rescue crews have special equipment to get to people who can’t get out.
Inflatable boats, John boats, large 4-wheel drive vehicles, and track UTV’s are all being used to get around. Unless you’re a trained professional, Bussell says it’s best for everyone to stay back.
“The tendency really is at times for people to go out, and they want to see what’s going on, see the high water, and they want to check it out. But that’s a good way to inadvertently become a victim,“ said Bussell.
Bussell says the crews are also looking at infrastructure while they’re being deployed, to see what roads and bridges have the most damage.