Spink County Ambulance raising funds for new EMS center

Published: Mar. 1, 2021 at 6:06 PM CST
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REDFIELD, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - This past year has put an emphasis on both health services and first responders due to the ongoing pandemic. And Spink County Ambulance Service Director Mike Sanger said rural services like theirs were strained just as hard.

“We’re a very busy service we run. Last year was 545 calls, for our size community. Which is a lot.” Sanger said.

That’s also strained their efforts to get and fund a news EMS center in Redfield as well. Sanger said the new center will bring together and centralize their current resources and vehicles, which currently are spread out in two locations in town. And provide better living quarters for volunteers living outside of Redfield.

“Almost half of our crew lives out of town now. And some drive actually from Aberdeen, 40 miles, and some are just out in the country, you know 10 to 15 miles, so. That’s really the need that we have right now.” Sanger said.

To help raise money, for the past six week’s they’ve been conducting a weekly card raffle. Those who buy tickets have a chance to win 10 percent of the ticket sales from that week. They also have a chance at winning either 10 or 50 percent of the total pot.

Tickets can be bought at a number of local businesses in Redfield. They can also be bought through Venmo.

EMT Dawn Oakley said so far they’ve raised about $140,000, and said more and more people are taking an interest.

“It takes a while for people to know what you’re doing, and understand how it works. And I’ve noticed that we’re having a lot of out-of-town people even starting to pay attention to our page.” Oakley said.

Sanger and Oakley said the center will serve more than just their volunteers. It will also have space for training events for the community as well as events like blood drives. They said that by having those resources in a central location, the Spink County Ambulance Service will be better equipped to handle the needs of the area and continue to serve for years to come.

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