The Rapid City Fire Department had a hectic 2015, with firefighters and medics responding to a record number of calls.
More than 17,000 calls kept the fire department busy last year, with the bulk of those being medical calls.
Fire Chief Mike Maltaverne says what used to be a record–setting day, is now the norm for them.
He says the alarming trend is seeing their calls only increase year after year.
Maltaverne says, "This year just the medical calls alone went up about 1,500 calls, so if you look at just, generally, if we did 17,000 calls this year, that was a 10 percent increase over last year. And in the last five years, that's a 25 percent increase from five years ago, and then going back 10 years, that's a 71 percent increase."
Maltaverne says it's a challenge to respond to that many calls with the department's scarce resources and says they have outgrown their 40–year–old downtown building.