South Dakota Ambulance Services Struggle To Hire Staff

MITCHELL, S.D. (AP) – Ambulance services in some South Dakota towns are struggling to recruit emergency medical technicians despite a new state law reducing the number of EMTs required to respond to calls.

Ambulance services in Gregory, Burke and Bonesteel/Fairfax may have to shut down in the next two years if the recruiting issue isn’t resolved.

State law used to require two medical personnel and one certified driver respond to calls. A 2016 law says only one EMT and one driver is required, and the driver must have some first aid certification.

But South Dakota Emergency Medical Services Director Marty Link says finding volunteers who can balance responsibilities at work, home and the service is a problem not unique to Gregory County.

He’s still hopeful for the future.

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