History & Organization

The Pennington County Emergency Management was created in 1962 and formally known as Civil Defense. The city of Rapid City and Pennington County entered into an agreement to form a joint, local organization to provide emergency and disaster services in 1978. This is known as the joint powers agreement. It serves as the countywide agency for the purpose of overseeing the planning, response, recovery and mitigation of any and all major disasters/emergencies that occur within the county. It also serves all political subdivisions within the county including townships, villages and municipalities. The organization is managed by an Emergency Management Users Board.

In Pennington County, the Emergency Management office also serves as the emergency coordination and public information arm of the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) under the EPCRA (Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA), Title III.

The Emergency Manager (EM) has the responsibility for maintaining the county’s Emergency Operation Center (EOC) located in the Pennington County Administration Building at 130 Kansas City Street in Rapid City and for establishing secondary EOC’s as needed. The agency is also charged with the establishment and updating of the county’s Emergency Operations Plan. The agency is staffed by a Director, Deputy Director, EM Specialist and Staff Assistant.

History of Emergency Managers/Civil Defense Coordinators in Pennington County


Emergency Manager

November 2011 - Present: Dustin Willett
July 2007 - April 2011: Anthony Carbajal
April 1992 - July 2007: Park Owens

Civil Defense Director/Coordinator

November 1980 - April 1992: Illa Cannon
February 1977 - October 1980: Bob Chalberg
November 1972 - December 1976: Don Martini
March 1962 - September 1972: Harold Irish