The city of Sturgis is implementing a program to fill emergency medical-service-provider staffing shortfalls and to provide more comprehensive EMS coverage in coming years.
Ryan Banaszak, Sturgis director of public safety, said the area has experienced challenges firsthand as local EMS providers have seen a dramatic decrease in staffing and fewer people entering into the emergency medical field in the last few years.
Staffing shortages have been magnified in the past year, due to challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on medical and first responders.
Banaszak said the department of public safety’s fire division has launched a ‘Safety Net’ ambulance in conjunction with LifeCare Ambulance. The Safety Net Ambulance is provided by LifeCare and staffed with Sturgis Public Safety firefighters when staffing levels allow. The Safety Net ambulance will be dispatched to calls within Sturgis when response times from LifeCare Ambulance are longer than is acceptable, or available ambulances don’t exist.