South Dakota firefighters are in Sioux Falls this week for the annual State Fire School. An estimated 500 firefighters will attend the school which starts Thursday and runs through Saturday at the Ramkota Hotel. This year’s event is hosted by the Minnehaha County Fire Chief’s Association, the South Dakota Firefighters Association and the South Dakota State Fire Marshal’s Office.

“What is so good about this school is this is a chance for firefighters from departments of all sizes to come together and share ideas,” says Fire Marshal Paul Merriman. “The situations each department encounters may be different, but many of the issues facing firefighters are the same. The school is a great way for firefighters to learn from each other.”

The school officially begins Thursday night with an opening ceremony, memorial service and banquet. The guest speaker is Minnesota Vikings' Chad Greenway, a Mt. Vernon native.

Classes on various firefighting topics are scheduled for Friday and Saturday. For a complete schedule of events, click here.