EMS Sustainability Assessment

Regional Services Designation: Assessing the Sustainability of EMS in South Dakota

Thanks to Governor Noem and the 2022 South Dakota Legislature, $20 million (ARPA federal funding) was infused into the South Dakota Department of Health to support three statewide Emergency Medical Services (EMS) initiatives. These dollars have significantly advanced EMS across South Dakota in the past two years; including the development of a one-of-a-kind Telemedicine in Motion concept, LIFEPAK 15 replacement monitors, and this assessment of the sustainability of EMS in our state (or Regional Services Designation report).

This sustainability assessment (completed in partnership with Healthcare Strategists) provides a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the state of EMS across South Dakota to ensure long-term sustainability for the industry. The report was generated through a compilation of over 400 stakeholder interviews in eight months and a comprehensive review of historical performance data and surveys. This was the largest lift among the three initiatives and nothing to this magnitude had ever been done before. 

EMS stakeholders participated in meetings within each ambulance district, during the annual conferences for the South Dakota Ambulance Association and EMS Association, the statewide trauma conference, remote interviews, and 7 virtual listening sessions. 

Understanding the current ambulance system and identifying the strengths and improvement opportunities was essential in this report and through the gathering of recommendations.

Assessment Documents:

  • Full Report (41 pages)
  • Briefing (3 pages) includes key findings on short-term deliverables and next steps

Within the full report, each recommendation has a designated time period starting with short-term (less than 24 months), medium-term (24-48 months), and long-term (greater than 48 months). The terms are based on the complexity and number of stakeholders necessary for implementation. They are estimates that will need further review before establishing related action items.

2024 EMS Regional Services Designation Grant

Emergency Medical Services

The South Dakota Department of Health has announced a new grant opportunity, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act, aimed at supporting Emergency Medical Services (EMS) across the state. This initiative, stemming from the Regional Services Designation analysis of 2023, offers $7.5 million for EMS providers to enhance their services.