First Responders

Kealey Bultena

Division Commander Brad Goodroad is the mayor’s choice for Sioux Falls fire chief. Goodroad is a longtime member of Sioux Falls Fire Rescue. The mayor says he's confident the city council will approve.

From eight fire chief candidates within Sioux Falls Fire Rescue, Mayor Mike Huether selects Brad Goodroad. Huether says Goodroad started working in the department in 1994.

"Firefighter, fire apparatus operator, captain, battalion chief, division chief," Huether says.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The mayor of Sioux Falls is weighing in on the arrest of the former fire chief for possession of child pornography. Wednesday the mayor addressed questions about the situation he calls a tragedy.

Minnehaha County officials announced Monday that Jim Sideras faces 10 counts of possession of child pornography. Authorities executed a search warrant on the former fire chief’s home May 2, which became his last day employed with the city.

Mayor Mike Huether says authorities notified the Sioux Falls Police chief that day, and the police chief informed the mayor.

Andrew Bork / SDPB

First responders and medical professionals are assessing their performance during a mock helicopter crash. They held the drill Tuesday morning. Crews began by pretending they had Avera helicopter on the Sanford landing pad and people were hurt. 

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Sioux Falls search and rescue crews recovered the body of a man trapped in a collapsed building. Fire Rescue chief Jim Sideras says crews found the body in a void just before 6 p.m. Friday. 

The frenzy in Downtown Sioux Falls slowed as rescue efforts changed to recovery work. Fire fighters stood unmoving near a response vehicle. They watched silently as several of the colleagues worked calmly digging through the rubble pile and eventually removing a man's body from the wreckage. 

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

One woman is alive after being trapped in a collapsed building in Sioux Falls, and crews are searching for a man they believe is underneath the rubble. The building used to be home to the Copper Lounge. It was under construction and included business and living spaces.

The intersection of 10th Street and Phillips Avenue usually hums with the sound of traffic. Now it rumbles as a payloader scratches the pavement and bobcat scrapes boards and broken materials into piles. Machines tow a car from underneath bricks that tumbled down when a building collapsed.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A Pierre man is alive because first responders used a medication to reverse the effects of a drug overdose. Officials credit the drug Narcan for saving the man’s life.

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says emergency crews responded to a call in Pierre Monday night for a man who needed medical attention.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Spring weather is here. For many South Dakotans that means getting outdoors and barbecuing or even standing around a campfire. While people take advantage of the warmer weather, first responders urge them to enjoy fire with caution. Sioux Falls Fire Rescue crews are using controlled demonstrations to prove how dangerous unattended grills and fire pits can be.

Sioux Falls fire inspector Tyler Tjeerdsma tosses hamburgers onto a grill that stands right next to a wall. He closes the lid, and within minutes the beige vinyl siding blackens and peels apart like taffy.

State 911 Coordinator Receives National Award

Mar 1, 2016
South Dakota Department of Public Safety

If a zombie attack, earthquake, or biblical sized flood hits South Dakota emergency communications are now statewide.  South Dakota is among the first in the nation to install a new statewide 911 network. While zombies are not a real concern –the state coordinator behind the project is being honored nationally for her efforts.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Sioux Falls Fire Rescue is now designated ISO Class 1. The national Insurance Services Office rates fire departments across the United States. Sioux Falls Fire Rescue is one of just 132 departments that meet the criteria for the Class 1 status.

Leaders remove a red cloth hiding part of a Sioux Falls Fire Rescue truck. Emblazoned on the white and red paint is shiny, reflective text: I.S.O. Class 1.

Rob Holso is the field representative with Insurance Services Office. He says the 100-point evaluation includes the fire department and community resources.

Commissioners in Minnehaha County say Med-Star is the new ambulance service provider for rural areas. Leaders started discussing the switch weeks ago. All five members of the panel voted Tuesday to award the county’s contract.

The medical director for Minnehaha County says both Med-Star and Paramedics Plus could handle ambulance service to areas outside of city limits. That left five commissioners to decide which service they prefer.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Firefighters in Sioux Falls are learning how to safely cope with crashes between cars and big vehicles. Rescue crews spend half a day in the classroom learning about the scenarios. Then they apply their education by moving real semi trucks and trailers in mock situations.  

A tow truck drones and metal crunches as crews in fire gear work on a semi truck. They use specialized equipment to stabilize the rig which is smashed on top of a mangled car.