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About Us

Welcome to the South Dakota Firefighters Association.  We strive to support the South Dakota Fire Service and all South Dakota Emergency Services & First Responders by providing benefits, insurance coverage, providing input on policy decisions, lobbying, training, financial support for District Fire Schools and hosting events for continuing education, professional development, and networking.

The Purposes of the SDFA are to Promote:

  • The science and methods of fire protection
  • Life safety and emergency safety
  • Increase knowledge and awareness of members and public
  • Training and education of the fire service
  • Public safety to prevent life and property loss from fire
  • Prevention and suppression.

The firefighters of South Dakota have been participating in statewide training conventions, tournaments, and schools since 1884. The first South Dakota Firefighters Association convention was held in Aberdeen. The annual convention was held for every year, except 1899 & 1918.  In 1930, the annual convention was converted to State Fire School, offering training opportunities with the latest techniques, equipment, and apparatus of the time. Since then, State Fire School has continued every year with the exception of 2020, and has been hosted at different locations throughout the state.   Today, the South Dakota Firefighters Association continues to uphold that established purpose to the fire and rescue service agencies and their members. There are approximately 8300 firefighters in South Dakota, with an estimated 7800 being volunteer.   All with the continued spirit to help those that need it, the best we can.

South Dakota codified law referencing and establishing the SDFA dates back as far as 1911

9-17-6. South Dakota Firefighters' Association, Incorporated continued.

The furnishing of fire protection is a governmental function and the South Dakota Firefighters Association, Incorporated, composed of the members of the municipal fire departments, is hereby continued as a public state institution of this state.

Source: SL 1919, ch 206, § 1; SDC 1939, § 20.0101; SL 1975, ch 86, § 1; SL 2006, ch 31, § 1.

9-17-7. Schools and promotional activities of South Dakota Firefighters' Association, Incorporated.

The South Dakota Firefighters Association, Incorporated, shall hold annual schools for the purpose of instruction and drilling, as well as testing modern methods and fire extinguishing apparatus, and in general shall encourage and promote the protection of property from loss and destruction by fire.

The time and place of the annual school shall be fixed by the South Dakota Firefighters Association, Incorporated.

Source: SL 1911, ch 157, § 3; RC 1919, § 10176; SL 1919, ch 206, § 3; SL 1931, ch 154; SDC 1939, § 20.0102; SL 1965, ch 101; SL 1975, ch 86, § 2; SL 2006, ch 31, § 2.

10-44-9.1. Determining amount of fire insurance premium tax--Distribution.

On July fifteenth of each year, the secretary of the Department of Labor and Regulation shall determine the amount of fire insurance premium tax collected by the state under the provisions of §§ 10-44-2 and 10-44-9 for the previous calendar year. Ten percent of the tax collected pursuant to § 10-44-9 is hereby annually appropriated to the Department of Public Safety for distribution to the South Dakota Firefighters Association, Incorporated, for training at state and district fire schools. Fifty percent of the amount remaining shall be distributed according to § 10-44-9.4.
All amounts determined for distribution are hereby appropriated out of the general fund to the Department of Public Safety. Each fire department receiving funds from the fire insurance premium tax shall continue to receive an amount not less than the amount received on July 1, 1989.

Source: SL 1977, ch 98, § 1; SL 1984, ch 30, § 6; SL 1990, ch 84; SL 1994, ch 94, § 1; SL 1995, ch 67; SL 2003, ch 272 (Ex. Ord. 03-1), §§ 20, 121; SL 2006, ch 31, § 3; SL 2011, ch 1 (Ex. Ord. 11-1), § 162, eff. Apr. 12, 2011; SL 2021, ch 50, § 1.

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