The Jerauld County Ambulance crew is shown left to right: Sara Cashman, RN, Eric Schroeder, Becky Leslie, Linda Willman, Betsy Schroeder, Tabitha Willman, Leslie Vinderslev, Spencer Grubb-EVOC Driver, Ellen Powell, Dick Powell and Megan Baumgart, RN. Not pictured: EMT’s Ryan Jungemann and Heidi Dornbusch.

Jerauld Co. Ambulance celebrated during EMS Week

Around the country, EMS Week honors the dedication of those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services of medicine’s front line. 

The Jerauld County Ambulance serves most of Jerauld County including the towns of Wessington Springs, Lane and Alpena.

“It’s a job that has to be done,” said Ellen Powell, longtime Jerauld County Ambulance EMT. “But it’s a job that brings a huge amount of satisfaction and provides a very important service to our community.”

In 2019, Jerauld County Ambulance had a total of 141 calls made up of 94 emergency calls, 42 transfers and five stand-by calls. Emergency calls are made up of Wessington Springs Area and Alpena with transfers going to Sioux Falls, Mitchell, Wessington Springs Airport and Huron Airport. Stand-by calls include football games, training and rodeo. 

But the tally of calls continue to add up with the number of EMTS decreasing, on the cusp of leaving a terrifying void when it comes to availability of ambulance service. 

“We need people to get involved to keep our ambulance service here,” said Powell. “Imagine yourself or your loved one having to wait for an ambulance from another community in an emergency situation. That’s a scary thought.” 

EMTs say that the biggest hurdle right now is weekday and night coverage. 

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