A city-owned hospital in northeastern South Dakota is proposing a more than $800,000 project to build a new center to help retain emergency medical technicians.
The Community Memorial Hospital in Redfield announced plans to construct an emergency medical service building, which would include housing, a training center, a three-ambulance garage and storage, Aberdeen American News reported.
The Spink County Ambulance Service has a full staff but retaining workers is becoming more difficult, said Michael O’Keefe, the hospital’s CEO.
“You have to find a place to stay while you’re in town, and it’s just not conducive for long-term viability,” said O’Keefe.
Oftentimes, EMTs have to sleep on couches, he added.
“This plan is an effort to develop staff retention and recruitment,” O’Keefe said.
The current training area, ambulances and supplies are scattered throughout the hospital, but the proposed two-level building could bring all program operations under one roof, he said.
“Having it all under one roof makes it more efficient and would certainly help with the retention and growth of the program,” O’Keefe said.
The hospital has presented designs to the Redfield City Council and the Spink County Commission. The city and county both fund the ambulance service, but the hospital runs its daily operations.
“Ultimately, when working with city and county, we’re hopeful that in late 2020 we can open up the new center,” O’Keefe said.