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EMS Week, EMS for Children Day proclaimed in Spearfish

May 22, 2019

SPEARFISH — To highlight the importance of emergency medical services as a vital public service, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week and EMS for Children Day in Spearfish were proclaimed Monday.

“With the theme, ‘EMS Strong: Beyond the Call,’ I encourage the community to observe this week with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities,” Spearfish City Council President Dan Hodgs, on behalf of Mayor Dana Boke, said.

Brian Hambek, executive director of the Spearfish Emergency Ambulance Service, addressed the council and explained that over the last year, the service set a new benchmark, responding to 2,240 calls, which was up from 2,050 the year before.

“An average month for us is …150-180 (calls). This year, January, we did 185,” Hambek said, adding, “What I do have to say is we’ve got some very, very wonderful people.”

He added that there are currently 13 full-time staff and about 40 volunteers on the Spearfish service.

“We are not a small organization, and for that kind of call volume, we can’t be,” Hambek said, describing that the service staffs two ambulances 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and they are looking at increasing to three. “Thank you for all you do – we appreciate it,” Hodgs said.

The proclamation for EMS Week, May 19-25, describes that the EMS system consists first responders, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, emergency medical dispatchers, firefighters, police officers, educators, administrators, pre-hospital nurses, emergency nurses, emergency physicians, trained members of the public, and other out-of-hospital medical care providers.

“The members of emergency medical services teams, whether career or volunteer, engage in thousands of hours of specialized training and continuing education to enhance their lifesaving skills,” Hodgs read. The EMS for Children Day proclamation describes that more than 30 million children receive emergency medical care each year due to illness or injury and that the needs of children are different than the needs of adults in medical emergencies.

“It is proper and timely to bring recognition to the value and accomplishments of Emergency Medical Services for Children and the dedicated men and women who work tirelessly to improve the quality of pediatric medical care,” Hodgs read.

EMS for Children Day is Wednesday.

Following the proclamations, Hambek told of a recent call to “highlight the quality” of the local EMS personnel. He said that the call involved a boy who had wrecked his bicycle and had gotten his leg stuck in the bicycle. A crewmember picked up an employee at Rushmore Mountain Sports, as well as bicycle tools, to assist with the call, and they were able to extricate the boy’s leg from the bicycle after some tinkering. The boy was uninjured, but his bicycle had been pulled apart during the call.

It also happened to be the boy’s fifth birthday that day.

“Here’s what my crew did,” Hambek said. “They took the bike, took it back to the office, reassembled it, tightened it up, cleaned everything up, we made a birthday card for him and everybody signed it, and then we went up to Dairy Queen and got an ice cream cake and took it out to his house. What a fifth birthday – that is the dedication that these people show every day.”

The council thanked the EMS personnel for all they do for the community.

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