The mission of Sioux Falls Fire Rescue (SFFR) is to protect the citizens and visitors of Sioux Falls and their property from fires and other emergencies through education, prevention, and emergency management.
“We opened for business in 1880 and have been running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week since.”
In 2010, SFFR responded to 9,917 various emergency situations, up from 9,202 in the year 2009. (Included in this total were 38 incidents in the Wayne Township response area, and 34 mutual aid responses.) Major responses and loss included a fire at 1000 East Chambers Street ($350,000), a garage explosion at 4001 South Tuscany Court ($342,000), and a residential house fire at 4805 South Drexel Drive ($180,000).
As the growth of the city continues, SFFR now provides services to 158,200 citizens and covers
73.65 square miles within the city of Sioux Falls, and also to approximately 1,368 people within the 22.39 square mile coverage area of Wayne Township. The population of the city grows by an additional 25 percent during the daytime as workers commute into the city.
The Operations Division is tasked with emergency response and is responsible for the management of day-to-day activities of the 166 personnel assigned. The division is divided into two battalions, the North Battalion and South Battalion. Other than the division chief, all personnel work a 24-hour schedule. Emergency response included responding to and mitigating medical calls, injury accidents, fire notifications and related incidents, technical rescue, and hazardous materials incidents.
In addition to standard mutual aid agreements, SFFR has agreements in place with counties for response to weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and hazardous materials incidents in the region. Talks are ongoing with the state of South Dakota to modify the WMD/hazardous materials agreement into an all hazards statewide response agreement.
In 2010 our Regional Tactical Response Team (TRT) taught three classes. SFFR taught an awareness-level class for structural collapse at the State Fire School. This class provided first responders from around the state with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to operate safely in a structural collapse environment. A trench rescue class was held during the summer of 2010 that taught rescuers how to safely shore and rescue patients who have been trapped in a trench collapse. In the fall of 2010, SFFR taught a level II structural collapse class. This class was attended by students from SFFR and the other three TRT teams in the state. This intensive week-long class taught students how to size up, shore, breech multiple types of building materials, and perform heavy rescues in a collapsed building.
In May of 2010, SFFR conducted a hazardous materials training exercise with the 82nd Civil
Response Team (CRT) based out of Rapid City and Emergency Management from the Air National Guard based out of Sioux Falls. This drill provided SFFR and the 82nd CRT the opportunity to work together in a realistic scenario involving a hazardous chemical in a high-profile, high-life hazard facility. The experience gained from this type of training is vital to ensuring our TRT teams are fully prepared to respond to a multitude of emergencies where diverse and highly trained teams with differing capabilities work together for the common good.
SFFR has approximately 231 locations identified as target hazards. Our initial response level is dictated by the risk assessment of each of these target hazards. For example, the initial response may vary from four apparatus and a command vehicle (17 personnel) to six apparatus, one hazardous materials response team, one support vehicle, and one command vehicle (30 personnel). The preplanning of these identified target hazards has been completed and the information entered into New World Information Systems.