Sunday, December 18, 2005

Lack of EMS Volunteers in South Dakota

We have the same concern in Iowa. From the Sioux Falls Argus Leader:

In the past, when a person from small-town or rural South Dakota had a heart attack or was involved in a car accident, volunteers scrambled to provide emergency medical care, leaving their jobs at grain elevators, cafes, drugstores and farms.

But those days are disappearing quickly. Now, in communities such as Humboldt, Dell Rapids and Garretson, residents leave town each morning for jobs in Sioux Falls. The number of farmers living in the area has dwindled significantly. When emergency calls come in during the day, no one is around to respond.

So for the past several months, volunteer ambulance services in the Sioux Falls area have been sounding the alarm to their communities, saying they cannot operate on volunteers alone anymore. They need to to hire staff members to cover daytime hours, they say, or they won't be able to provide emergency care


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