Sioux Falls Fire Rescue Explores Expanding Response for Specialty Incidents

Sioux Falls Fire Rescue responders face a high risk of injuries when they respond to specialty incidences such as water rescues, structural collapses, and trench rescues. They also support the Sioux Falls Police Department on bomb squad and SWAT responses. Because of this increased risk of injury, Sioux Falls Fire Rescue is exploring the potential to utilize paramedics, currently employed within their department, to be advanced life support responders during specialty incidents.

“Sioux Falls Fire Rescue wants to ensure that we are able to protect our responders and the community by providing the safest and most appropriate use of resources during specialty incident responses,” says Chief Brad Goodroad. “I feel that now is the right time to explore the possibility of using internal resources to support special incident responses. The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) response system is ever evolving, and it is our duty to continue to evaluate and learn from the best practices of other departments across the nation.”

This expanded response capability would allow Sioux Falls Fire Rescue to provide immediate initial advanced life support to responders and victims during a specialty incident.

“Next steps for our department include looking at budgetary considerations and the impact to job duties and compensation for our firefighters. Should this change be made, it would go into effect in 2019,” says Chief Goodroad.

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