South Dakota becomes 22nd state to join EMS Compact
Officials said South Dakota's location makes it a key state among Compact members
By Laura French
PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota has become the 22nd state to pass legislation to join the EMS Compact, the Interstate Commission for EMS Personnel Practice announced Tuesday.
The EMS Compact enables licensed EMS personnel to cross state borders using a privilege to practice in other EMS Compact member states without obtaining a separate license. The EMS Compact legislation signed by South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem in March will go into effect on July 1, 2021.
"We are happy to be joining the EMS Compact," South Dakota EMS Director Marty Link said in a statement. "This is great news for the citizens of our State, our EMS personnel, and our neighbors in the surrounding states. Given our strategic location with neighboring states, we recognize we are an important part of the national EMS Compact puzzle."
The EMS Compact also includes a coordinated personnel licensing data system for member states to share information on their licensed personnel, and supports expedited licensing in member states for military personnel and their spouses upon discharge from service.
"South Dakota is an especially key state to the Compact. They border North Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, and Wyoming, which are already members of the Compact," stated Office of EMS Trauma System Coordination Director Joseph Schmider, who is also the chairperson of the Interstate Commission for EMS Personnel Practice. "South Dakota's entry is a big boost to EMS in the north central region of the United States."
The recent legislation was supported by the South Dakota EMS Association, the South Dakota Ambulance Association and the State EMS Office.
"The South Dakota legislature meets for only two months each year, so their consideration of this legislation is especially remarkable," said Dan Manz, an educator for the Interstate Commission for EMS Personnel Practice.