The Rockerville VFD is an all-volunteer organization. We have no full-time paid personnel. We are organized as a nonprofit corporation incorporated under the laws of the State of South Dakota and are recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a nonprofit charitable organization.
The Rockerville Volunteer Fire Department has been serving the area since the 1960’s. The district is made up of 60 square miles, stretching from the Cosmos Road on the west to SD Highway 79 on the east; from just Spring Creek on the north to the Black Hills Children’s Home on the south. About half of the district is inside the Black Hills National Forest. The district is located about halfway between Rapid City and Mt. Rushmore National Memorial along U.S. Highway 16. Some area attractions of note include Reptile Gardens, Bear Country USA, Rushmore Shadows Campground, Happy Holiday Campground, and the Hart Ranch Resort.
The Rural Fire Protection District is the elected political body that has real property taxing authority to raise funds for the operations of the fire department. Over the past fifteen years, our district has been experiencing phenomenal growth in both population and in property valuation.
We operate out of two stations; one on Highway 16 and one on Coyote Flats Road. The reason for this is to reduce response times to both areas. Our district is physically cut in half because there are no roads connecting Neck Yoke Road and Highway 16 except for South Rockerville Road.
We respond to approximately 120 requests for service annually. About 40 – 50% of those involve Emergency Medical Responders in one way or another. Of course, with the big influx of tourists, the summer is our busiest time. The Hart Ranch Resort campground by itself would qualify in the top ten in terms of population for towns in South Dakota during the height of the tourist season. Visitors to our campgrounds, millions of visitors traveling through to Mt Rushmore, and the ever-present wildland fires during the summer can all add up to make the months of June through September quite busy at times.
We not only respond to incidents in the Rockerville Fire District, but also assist neighboring departments and agencies. All of the departments in Pennington County, Rapid City, Custer County, Meade County and several other agencies all have what’s called a Mutual Aid agreement to assist other agencies or departments when needed. Members of the Rockerville Department have been to Custer, Phillip, Wall, Wyoming, Nebraska, and have even manned the Rapid City Fire stations as needed.