Melissa Magstadt, South Dakota Secretary of Health

SERV SD (Statewide Emergency Registry of Volunteers)

Experiences such as 9-11, Hurricane Katrina and the I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis have shown that many of our nation’s medical professionals are willing to volunteer their services when a large-scale disaster occurs. During these times of extraordinary demand, hospitals and other health care providers need to depend upon the services that health volunteers can provide. However, utilizing these volunteers presents a major challenge to hospital, public health and emergency authorities. The federal Emergency System for the Advanced Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals (ESAR-VHP) was created to help eliminate problems encountered in utilizing medical and health care volunteers in complex emergency situations.

The ESAR-VHP program has awarded each state funding to create local systems for the advanced registration of medical and health care volunteers. Operating under the auspices of the South Dakota Department of Health, the Statewide Emergency Registry of Volunteers in South Dakota (SERV SD) coordinates the pre-registration of medical and health care professionals who may be willing to volunteer in the event of an emergency. The goal is to register qualified individuals, verify their respective credentials, and provide education and training in the area of disaster response. SERV SD will also create a database of medical and health care volunteers who can be mobilized immediately in response to an emergency.

The department understands and respects the sensitivity of the information provided on behalf of volunteers and has taken the following precautions to protect the information:

  • Information provided is protected by an industry-standard firewall.
  • An SSL certificate ensures secure transactions between Web servers and browsers.
  • Authentication is required to access the system via user name and password.
  • SERV SD will not provide your name and information to agencies without your permission

Register for SERV SD at

(watch the following training videos for instructions)

Participation in a deployment opportunity is optional. You may decide at the time a call is made to volunteer if you are willing and able to respond.

SERV SD is a state-owned-and-operated registry and will not provide your name and information to agencies without your permission. For additional information regarding the program or registration process, you may contact AJ Schaefbauer.

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