Western South Dakota's Only Ranch Station

Sturgis Closing Ceremony to honor first responders

STURGIS – This year’s closing ceremonies for the 83rd City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally will be a tribute to all first responders.

The event begins at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, at Harley-Davidson Rally Point. First responders include all who put their life on the line for the sake of others — nurses, paramedics/EMTs, police officers, firefighters and more.

The city will be honoring two lifelong first responders, former Meade County Sheriff Ron Merwin and former Sturgis Volunteer Fire Chief Tom Trigg.

The speaker for the event will be Mark Schmidt, President of the Sturgis Hospital and Market.

Also at the closing ceremony, the city will be revealing the 84th logo and showcasing the winner of the logo contest. Join us to find out who won the contest and the prize. Be part of the crowd to score some City of Sturgis 84th swag.

Following are bios of the honorees:


Tom Trigg is a native of Sturgis, graduating from Sturgis High School in 1969 and attending Black Hills State University.

He joined the Sturgis Volunteer Fire Department in 1978, serving on the Board of Directors, as an Assistant Fire Chief, and retiring as Fire Chief in 2008. Trigg was also an instructor for the South Dakota Fire Service, and a South Dakota Certified Fire Instructor.

He was an Emergency Medical Technician, a member of the Black Hills Fire Advisory Board, and has mentored many who made the fire service their career/

Trigg was involved in many major wildland project fires through the Black Hills during his career.

He retired from the Fort Meade Fire Department in 2004 after 31 years of service in 2004. Trigg and his wife, Julie, raise cattle in the Sturgis area.


Ron Merwin grew up in Sturgis, graduating from Sturgis Brown High School and began his law enforcement career in 1982 as a reserve police officer at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

In March of 1984, Merwin was hired by the City of Sturgis as a full-time police officer. Then, in 1991, Merwin began his career with the Meade County Sheriff’s office as sheriff.

Merwin’s tenure of 32 years as Sheriff makes him the longest serving Sheriff in Meade County. He credits his longevity in office to the great people he worked with over the years.

Merwin was the president of the South Dakota Sheriff’s Association in 2000. He also served in the South Dakota National Guard for 12 years.

Merwin and his wife Becky have been married for 45 years and have 11 children and 14 grandchildren and presently reside in Piedmont.

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photo courtesy Great Plains Fire


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