SD county lowers number of EMTs required on ambulance calls

Emergency management officials say the change will put less stress on resources


By EMS1 Staff

MINNEHAHA COUNTY, S.D. — A South Dakota county commission has voted to lower the number of EMTs required on ambulance calls.

The minimum number has been lowered from two to one, which Minnehaha County Emergency Manager Jason Gearman said will free up more resources without affecting the quality of service, according to KSFY.

The Minnehaha County Commission voted to amend an ordinance that lowers the minimum number of EMTs required on an ambulance call from two to one. (Photo/Minnehaha County)
The Minnehaha County Commission voted to amend an ordinance that lowers the minimum number of EMTs required on an ambulance call from two to one. (Photo/Minnehaha County)

“It’s just the minimum requirement to do the job … it’s up to each ambulance how they want to proceed in the future,” Gearman said. “These people are very passionate about what they do, they want to provide the best services for everyone.”

Gearman added that some ambulance runs, such as non-emergency transports from nursing homes to hospitals, do not require more than one EMT to attend.

County Commissioner Jeff Barth said the new ordinance will especially help services in smaller rural areas.

The owner of MED-Star, one of the ambulance services in the county, raised some concerns about the ordinance.

“You might just have an EMT that’s never touched someone before, and the driver is certainly not going to know what to do,” said Jay Masur. “That puts everyone at risk.”

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