It is Coming
South Dakota in the spring time. Single digit temperatures with blizzards one week. The next week, record high temperatures with flooding and spring wildfires. Good grief. The land of infinite variety.
Severe Weather Awareness days were in April. I hope you all take time to review or make a plan for what you would do if severe weather strikes your community or those around you. Remember, a storm may take out the mutual aid you normally rely on.
The State Volunteer Fire Service Grant program, HB 1127, was signed and funding appropriated to be utilized by June 2027. Thank you to the legislature for providing this assistance.
I have had inquiries on the program. Yes, it’s coming.
As mentioned last month, the SDFA and Department of Public Safety are working on the procedures and guidelines for the program to assure the necessary steps for application and invoicing can be clearly defined and presented to allow for efficient completion.
The $5 million program will provide an opportunity of assistance to small volunteer departments to purchase basic personal protective equipment. This may include structural, wildland, and certain rescue gear. Technical rescue gear, like HAZMAT and rope rescue items will not be part of the program.
A menu of set dollar amounts allowed toward basic gear will be established. This way, a department will receive a flat rate for each item, and any amount over will be the responsibility of the department. A small matching amount will likely be established, for example 90/10, for each applicant.
The SDFA will keep you posted on the progress of the program, and have more information at State Fire School at the SDFA General Membership meeting, and the SDFA Happenings class on Saturday afternoon.
Registration is open for State Fire School, 15-17 June in Watertown at Lake Area Technical College.
Keep checking the SDFA website for class and registration updates. There will be a few classes that have a minimum and maximum size. Make sure you have a good contact email and phone number in case of any last minute changes to classes.
One disappointing school item, the Fire Service for Kids class had to be cancelled due to scheduling issues for their team members.
If you have had a current or former department member that has passed away in the last year you would like to include in the Memorial Service on Friday evening of State Fire School, send their name, a photo (if possible), and years of service, to SDFA Board member Mark Stoks, NEDir@sdfirefighters.org, by 10 June.
Any family or department members that would like to place the memorial flower at the service, we graciously encourage them to attend and be part of the service.
We will be having an election for SDFA President and for proposed updates to the SDFA Membership Bylaws. So if you don’t like the current President, now is your chance.
Nomination committee members include three SDFA Board members and two at-large appointments from the membership. Denny Gorton, North Haines VFD, serves as chair, Ron Hines, Huron FD, Chad Baumgarten, Lemmon VFD, Kevin Schuelke, Milbank VFD, and Glenn Sealey, Colome VFD. Submit a letter of intent or an accepted nomination to any of the nominating committee members or your SDFA District Director.
I hope you all take the time to remember Mother’s Day on May 14th. To all the mothers and mother figures out there, Happy Mother’s Day.