Stanley County Commission No Longer Supports Proposed Creation of Central South Dakota Ambulance District

SEPTEMBER 7, 2022:

One of the main entities in the proposed development of an ambulance district for Hughes and Stanley, Pierre, Fort Pierre, Harrold and Blunt counties has backtracked and no longer supports the idea.

The Stanley County Commission discussed this decision at their meeting last night (September 6, 2022).

Fort Pierre Town Alderman and Ambulance District Liaison Scott Deal updated the town council saying there were concerns about financial obligations.

Deal says he, Stanley County Commissioner Dennis Booth and Hughes County Commission Chairman Randy Brown discussed the concerns.

Deal believes that taking a break to assess all possible options will be good for all local government entities involved.

He says Stanley County and Fort Pierre will look at options that might be viable.

American Medical Response says their cost of operating in both counties has increased significantly over the past few years, from $135,000 this year (2022) to $415,000 next year. One of the main reasons for this increase is the lack of personnel. AMR has been forced to hire paramedics from as far away as California to fill staffing gaps here, which means covering travel, accommodation and meal costs in addition to paramedic salaries. The current agreement with AMR expires at the end of this year (2022).

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AUGUST 25, 2022:

If you missed last week’s public meeting (August 17, 2022) on the Central South Dakota Ambulance District Project in Hughes and Stanley Counties, there’s another meeting tonight (August 25, 2022). 2022).

The county commissions of Stanley and Hughes and the towns of Fort Pierre, Pierre, Blunt and Harrold all support the creation of the ambulance district.

AMR Operations Supervisor Matt Hardwick says there are currently a dozen full-time and part-time staff short of what they would like to have.

Hardwick says filling the staffing gap has dramatically increased their cost.

Hardwick says AMR à Pierre makes an average of five to seven service calls each day.

Dr. Tom Huber is AMR’s Medical Director. He says most people don’t realize the importance of having an easily accessible emergency ambulance service – until they need it.

Huber says the current agreement with AMR to provide ambulance service in Hughes and Stanley counties expires at the end of this year.

The two county commissions are holding a joint meeting and public hearing tonight at 6 p.m. CT at the Senior Center in Fort Pierre.

If the proposed district is approved, someone with a home with a tax value of $250,000 would pay less than $60 a year for ambulance district fees. Voters will have the final say when they go to the polls in November (2022).

If the ambulance district is on the November ballot and voters do not approve of its creation, AMR could discontinue service in Hughes and Stanley County. AMR says their cost of operating in both counties has increased significantly over the past few years, primarily due to a lack of staff. AMR has been forced to hire paramedics from as far away as California to fill staffing gaps here, which means covering travel, accommodation and meal costs in addition to paramedic salaries.

More information about the proposed ambulance district can be found at csdambulance.com.

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