Commissioners in Minnehaha County say Med-Star is the new ambulance service provider for rural areas. Leaders started discussing the switch weeks ago. All five members of the panel voted Tuesday to award the county’s contract.
The medical director for Minnehaha County says both Med-Star and Paramedics Plus could handle ambulance service to areas outside of city limits. That left five commissioners to decide which service they prefer.
County Commissioner Jeff Barth says the City of Sioux Falls is going with Paramedics Plus, but Med-Star is getting the ambulance service contract for the county.
"You know, I think all of us are impatient when we wait," Barth says. "Med-Star is going to be placing a base for one or more of their ambulances in the western part of this district, and they say they’ll be able to respond very quickly to anything that’s in that area."
Med-Star is based in Brandon on the eastern edge of Minnehaha County.
Barth says the emergency coverage could change as commissioners examine service areas outside of Sioux Falls and around smaller towns.
"We’ll be reviewing all of these territories in a year in a half as the current licensure expires in December 2016, so it may be that we redraw some of these boundaries anyway," Barth says.
Barth says people should know that all ambulance services have agreements of mutual aid, so someone will respond when people need help in an emergency.