Rockerville Fire Department hosts inter-agency back country rescue training


ROCKERVILLE, S.D. — On Thursday, the Rockerville Fire Department hosted an inter-agency rescue training near Hippie Hole.

The department’s Search and Rescue team receives calls about once or twice a month, and this inter-agency training is taking place so that they and other agencies can stay prepared and ready when the next one comes.

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Hosted by the fire department, the training was in collaboration with Pennington County Search and Rescue, Army Air National Guard, and Keystone Ambulance. This was done to keep the relationship and communication strong amongst the agencies.

“Our goal here today is to just get all the agencies together, communicate how this works amongst our agencies, train, and get super proficient with that sked,” Fire Chief of the Rockerville Fire Department Gail Schmidt said. “So the SAR (Search and Rescue) team will get that patient hooked up in that sked, and get the lines ready, so that when the Air National Guard comes overhead, they’ll drop down with their medic.”

A lot of safety goes into this training as it mimics real life situations — with Search and Rescue constantly monitoring trees around the patient and team, so that when the helicopters come in there is no potential hazard.

“This helps us with just working with the National Guard, allowing us to efficiently work with the medics and the pilots, to make sure the situation is safe and as speedy as possible, to help get them to higher care,” Pennington County Search and Rescue Training Officer Nick Rolfsmeier explained.

Search and Rescue asks that when people go out to hike, they let others know where they are going first, what time they plan on being back and to always bring water, food, shelter, and a first aid kit with them.





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