Sturgis Ambulance cuts ribbon on new SMRT program

Gary MatthewsMay 16, 2022Local
photo by Gary MatthewsTo celebrate National EMS Week, the ambulance service held a ribbon cutting to dedicate the new SMRT program at a Monday open house.

STURGIS, S.D. – The Sturgis Ambulance Service is offering a new program dedicated to filling in the gaps in out of hospital care.

The Sturgis Mobile Response Team, or SMRT for short, is a grant funded program that consists of a medical director, three community healthcare workers and four advanced life support providers.

To celebrate National EMS Week, the ambulance service held a ribbon cutting to dedicate the new program at a Monday open house.

The first three members of the program were recognized at the event. They are Whitney Peterson, Marissa Rathert and Stacy Keim.

Sturgis Ambulance Director Shawn Fischer says the community health care workers would provide in-home screenings and assessments at the orders of a doctor. She says it’s designed to reduce non-emergency 9-1-1 calls.

“A doctor may ask us to go out to the home and check the living conditions of the patient. It might mean checking on how they keep their meds or do they have enough food. It’s stuff that the doctors can’t see from the office. Often times the patients don’t tell them the whole story.”

Fischer says the state started a grant program two years ago that pays for the education of the SMRT staff and startup costs of the program.

The program will officially launch on June 1.