South Dakota EMS Association

To strengthen patient care in South Dakota through advocacy, education, and representation of EMS providers.


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News & Legislative Updates

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  • 02/07/2024 12:37 PM | Stella Meier (Administrator)

    Here is the weekly update the last of the bills have filed with 258 House bills ad 220 Senate bills. Most everything is moving along at a steady pace. SB 114 will be heard on Tuesday Feb. 13th at 10:00 in Room 412. Crossover day is February 21st and the last day being March 4th. Remember please pass along and if you have any questions, or comments feel free to contact me. If a bill has had final considerations, I have highlighted them in the report.

    EMS Day was a great success with 19 attendees for the picture with the Governor and Lt. Governor. For the social we had 15 EMT's and Paramedics, DOH-6, Sec. of Health-1, Lt. Governor-1, Avel-4, Healthcare Strategists-1, Stryker-3, Legislators-43, and Interns-8 for a total of 82. 

    Any questions or comments please let me know.

    Maynard Konechne Legislative chair

    cell: 605-730-0462 

  • 01/17/2024 2:19 PM | Stella Meier (Administrator)

    You are invited to attend the 11th annual Avel eCare Emergency Airway Training Program powered by The Difficult Airway Course on April 25-26, 2024! Join us in Sioux Falls, SD, where world-class faculty from The Difficult Airway Course: Emergency™, and Avel eCare teaches the evidence-based, algorithmic approach to emergency airway management. This course provides advanced education in difficult and failed airway management. 

    Event Information:
    This event will be held at the Holiday Inn – City Centre in downtown Sioux Falls from 3:30-8pm on Thursday, April 25th and 8am-4:30pm on Friday, April 26th. Following the Thursday afternoon lectures from world-class faculty, there will be a tour of the Avel eCare hub along with a social hour with drinks and appetizers.  This will be a great opportunity for you to meet the physicians, nurses, and other team members behind the camera.

    Registration Information:
    Early bird pricing until February 1, 2024.
    $800 - MDs, DOs, NP, PA’s/ $850 after Feb 1st
    $400 - RN, EMT, RT, Paramedics/ $ 450 after Feb 1st
    Included in the registration fee is a light appetizer meal the evening of April 25th, and breakfast and lunch on April 26th. In an effort to keep costs manageable, this fee does not include the cost of the book. 

    Learn more and register for the event here.
    Registration is not finalized until payment is collected, please put attendee information as customer name during checkout.

    If you have any questions, please reach out to the education team at

  • 01/17/2024 2:17 PM | Stella Meier (Administrator)

    South Dakota Department of Health Announces Grant Funding to Support Local Emergency Medical Services

    PIERRE, SD – Today, the South Dakota Department of Health announced a new grant opportunity for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) for the development and implementation of systems and solutions to support the sustainability of these critical services throughout South Dakota. This initiative is an outcome of the Regional Services Designation (RSD) analysis completed in 2023.

    The initial grant application period is from Jan. 16, 2024, through March 15, 2024, with an anticipated notification of funding letter to be sent in late March. A second grant funding opportunity will open and be announced later this summer. Applicants seeking grant funding as part of this initiative must be knowledgeable in the report findings and incorporate components of the report into their grant application.

    “This will be a competitive grant opportunity for our EMS providers across the state,” said EMS and Trauma Program Administrator, Marty Link. “The department will have approximately $7.5 million to distribute to these providers for a variety of activities that may include – but are not limited to – billing software solutions, supply procurement systems, workforce recruitment and retention, training programs, or the development and implementation of regional hubs.”

    As part of the application, applicants must provide specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, relevant, and time-bound solutions for improving long-term sustainability of EMS in South Dakota. Funding for the grants must be obligated by the end of 2024, and grant recipients must spend the funding received by November 1, 2026.

    “My team will also be providing educational seminars to address questions related to the grant application,” concluded Link. “Information and links to the seminars will be available on the DOH website.”

    Grant applications must be submitted to

    The Department partnered with Healthcare Strategists to complete the assessment and report, which is the third piece of a $20 million infusion of funding into South Dakota’s emergency medical services infrastructure approved by Gov. Kristi Noem and legislators in 2022. This investment includes $11.6 million to replace current LIFEPAK 15 defibrillators and the $1.7 million Telemedicine in Motion initiative equipping ambulances with technology that connects EMS personnel to emergency room physicians and nurses during any type of service call. Governor Noem highlighted these efforts in her 2024 State of the State Address last week; you can find footage of those remarks here.

    The Department of Health will be using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to support this initiative. Grant recipients must comply with state and federal grant guidance as outlined in the application document and within the grant award.

    For more information, please visit the DOH website.

    At the heart of the Department of Health’s mission is a simple yet profound goal: to protect and improve the health of all South Dakotans. The department is entrusted with the vital task of promoting wellness, preventing disease, and ensuring access to quality healthcare for all South Dakotans across our great state.

  • 11/30/2023 3:50 PM | Stella Meier (Administrator)

    The I/C Society sent out a note reminding EMS professionals to provide comments on the upcoming revision of the 2000 EMS Education Agenda for the Future: A Systems Approach. This new effort will apply the concepts of the EMS Agenda 2050 to EMS Education and the profession’s standing in the U.S. The output of this community effort will be EMS Education Agenda 2050, setting the path for the development of EMS clinicians of the future as identified in the EMS Agenda 2050. 

    Fill out the survey. 

  • 11/28/2023 8:41 AM | Stella Meier (Administrator)


    November 22, 2023

    Sarah Feldman | 202.228.0371

    Liz Timmons | 202.224.9241


    Following Tester Efforts, VA Takes Action to Avoid Potential Reduction in Air and Ground Transportation Services 

    VA delays rule that could have resulted in severe reductions in access to emergency ground and air transportation services in Montana


    (Big Sandy, Mont.) – Following sustained efforts from U.S. Senator Jon Tester to protect rural veterans’ access to lifesaving emergency medical transportation services, the Department of Veterans Affairs is delaying a rule to change reimbursement rates for special mode transportation, including air and ground ambulances. This delay will give VA more time to work with stakeholders and Congress to implement the rule in a way that would ensure access and availability of emergency transportation to veterans and civilians, especially in rural America.


    “The availability of emergency air and ground transportation services in Montana and rural America can be the difference between life and death,” said Tester, Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “VA’s hasty implementation of its rate change for these services could have been the final straw for providers in rural America, and I’m glad to see VA answering my call and taking steps to fix this reimbursement issue. VA still has a lot more work to do, and I’ll continue pushing my VA Emergency Transportation Access Act to ensure VA gets this rule right for veterans and anyone who calls rural America home.”


    VA’s rule was set to go into effect in February 2024, despite significant opposition from Tester, transportation providers, and Veteran Service Organizations. Now, VA is committing to delaying the rule’s effective date until February 2025, which would give the Department more time to work with providers to ensure the rule will not negatively impact their services and ability to serve veterans, especially those in rural and hard-to-reach areas. The previous implementation timeline of rate reductions could have resulted in emergency transportation providers severely reducing services, closing bases, or even billing veterans for the remainder of their costs in order to shoulder the financial impacts of this change.


    Tester has led the bipartisan charge to push back on the Biden Administration’s proposed rule change and protect Montana veterans’ access to emergency medical transportation services since day one. In September 2022, he wrote to VA Secretary Denis McDonough to express his concerns with VA’s rule, and in February of this year, he called on the Secretary again to delay this rule. This September, he introduced the bipartisan VA Emergency Transportation Access Act to bar VA from reducing rates of pay and reimbursement for special mode transportation providers, including ground and air ambulances, unless the Department meets certain requirements that ensure rate changes will not reduce veterans’ access to this essential service.


    The Senator also recently secured a bipartisan amendment to prohibit VA from implementing this rule in fiscal year 2024 to a key Senate bill that passed earlier this month.

  • 11/01/2023 11:38 AM | Stella Meier (Administrator)

    The South Dakota Emergency Medical Services Association (SDEMSA) Conference is an annual gathering of dedicated professionals in the field of emergency medical services. It serves as a platform to recognize and celebrate outstanding individuals and organizations that go above and beyond in their commitment to saving lives and improving healthcare. This year, the 2023 SDEMSA Conference has seen some remarkable recipients of prestigious awards and honors.

    Sue Schuurman's Memorial Award

    The Sue Schuurman's Memorial Award is a tribute to the memory of a dedicated EMS advocate. This award allows recipients to purchase essential equipment for their squads. We are thrilled to announce that this year's winner is Sturgis Ambulance, who will use the award to acquire equipment designed to improve the administration of IVs to children. Their dedication to enhancing pediatric care deserves commendation.

    EMS Instructor of the Year

    This award is presented to an EMS Instructor who has shown unwavering dedication and commitment to providing EMS education in the state of South Dakota. We proudly acknowledge Travis Spier as the recipient of the EMS Instructor of the Year award. His tireless efforts in educating and training future EMS professionals have made a significant impact on the industry.

    Lifetime Membership

    Lifetime Membership is a prestigious recognition for individuals who have demonstrated exceptional dedication and service to the SDEMSA over a period of 15 years or more. This year, we celebrate the accomplishments of five exceptional members: Brenda Sinning, Ron Carlson, JD Geigle, Shawn Fischer, and Bonnie Nelson. Their commitment to the association and their communities is truly remarkable.

    Paramedic of the Year

    Chad Madsen's excellence in patient care, advocacy, professionalism, and continuous commitment to professional education have earned him the well-deserved title of Paramedic of the Year. His dedication to patients and his colleagues exemplifies the highest standards of EMS practice.

    EMT of the Year

    Scott Larson's exceptional patient care, advocacy, professionalism, and dedication to ongoing professional education have made him a role model for all EMTs. He is a shining example of what it means to be the EMT of the Year.

    Military Medic of the Year

    The Military Medic of the Year Award honors the extraordinary achievements of military medics who excel in the performance of emergency medicine, particularly in theater patient care. We proudly congratulate Sargent Rachel Hobbs for her remarkable service. 

    Volunteer EMS Service of the Year

    Volunteer EMS services are the backbone of many communities, providing essential care without hesitation. This year, we applaud Plankinton Ambulance and Leola Ambulance for their dedication as Volunteer EMS Services of the Year.

    Career EMS Service of the Year

    Lennox Ambulance, predominantly staffed by career professionals, is recognized as the Career EMS Service of the Year. Their unwavering commitment to patient care and their community is inspiring.

    President's Award

    The President's Award is presented to those who have significantly contributed to furthering the goals and objectives of EMS in South Dakota. We are delighted to honor Margaret Farrel and Mikayla Titus for their outstanding dedication and service to the SDEMSA.

    Appreciation + Gratitude Award

    Amy Marsh receives the Appreciation + Gratitude Award, a recognition from the SDEMSA President for her remarkable contributions to the organization. Her selfless dedication is truly appreciated.

    Sanford Health Trauma Wars

    In the spirit of healthy competition, Rosebud Ambulance, Piedmont Ambulance, and Sturgis Ambulance showcased their skills and dedication in the Sanford Health Trauma Wars. Congratulations to Sturgis Ambulance for taking home the first-place trophy!

    AirMethods Escape Room

    Holly and Sloane impressed us all by conquering the AirMethods Escape Room, displaying teamwork and problem-solving abilities.

    Congratulations to all the award winners at the 2023 SDEMSA Conference. Your dedication, commitment, and excellence in emergency medical services do not go unnoticed. Your contributions are the foundation of strong and resilient healthcare in South Dakota, and we salute your unwavering efforts. Thank you for all that you do to make our communities safer and healthier.

  • 08/31/2023 3:07 PM | Stella Meier (Administrator)

    The SDEMSA By-Laws have been updated. 

    View them here. 

  • 08/01/2023 8:12 AM | Stella Meier (Administrator)

    Save the Date: August 25, 2023

    First Responder Summit: Addiction and Mental Health in South Dakota

    Event is open to the public including: Counselors, Health Professionals, Community Providers, First Responders, Etc. 

    Network and Connect with Peers and Resources

    Discuss Addiction and Mental Health Solutions

    Enjoy Free Lunch

    .5 Continuing Education Credits Available

  • 06/13/2023 1:34 PM | Stella Meier (Administrator)

    Hey all, 

    Your association is in need of nominees for the various awards. You all know someone, a service, EMT, Military Medic, Paramedic, and others that are deserving of being recognized. Please nominate them. Notify your district president and vice president, they can help guide you in the process. 

    SDEMSA is looking for a Historian. This individual will be responsible for holding all the historical documentation and presenting it at special events, such as the annual conference. If interested, please contact myself or your district president. 

    Thank you all, 


  • 06/05/2023 2:38 PM | Stella Meier (Administrator)

    HMP/EMS World Expo Provides SDEMSA:

    • Unlimited free exhibit hall passes for members. Using code: SDEMSAXPO
    • Unlimited $100 discounts on 3-day conference passes for members. Using code: SDEMSA
    • Recognition in Expo promotion and on the website as a supporting organization
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