BHS building ambulance station, education center

By: Brookings Health System

Brookings Health System’s Board of Trustees recently approved plans to build a new ambulance station and education center on health system property located along Yorkshire Drive, just south of Brookings Hospital.

The health system will break ground later this summer.

“Brookings Health has operated the ambulance service for the City of Brookings and much of Brookings County since 1974. In that time, the ambulance service has never had a permanent home and its own dedicated space,” CEO Jason Merkley said.

“The new ambulance station and education center will create a headquarters for the ambulance service while also serving the health emergency education needs of our community.”

When the health system first took on the ambulance service, staff parked ambulance vehicles in the emergency room’s attached garage. The vehicles would be in the way of other incoming emergency vehicles that required access to the ER.

For ER efficiency, the ambulance service was moved to its current leased location along Eighth Street South in 2009.

The new 7,160 square-foot facility will again place the ambulance service in close proximity to Brookings Hospital and the ER.

It will house all four advanced life support (ALS) vehicles, the mass casualty vehicle and the mobile first-aid station trailer. It will also provide living quarters for ambulance staff working over-night or 24-hour shifts, including bedrooms, bathrooms and a kitchen.

The education center will hold training sessions for Brookings Health System employees and host community classes like First Aid and CPR.

Construction will be completed this winter. Mills Construction was awarded the bid as general contractor for the project.

Brookings Health System’s ambulance service provides emergency 911 ALS services for the City of Brookings, much of Brookings County and the communities of Aurora, Bruce, Bushnell, Sinai and Volga. It also assists area ambulance services from Arlington, Clear Lake, Elkton, Estelline, White and Lake Preston when requested. It handles both local and long-distance transports as well as emergency and non-emergency transfers.

More information about the ambulance service can be found online at www.brookingshealth.org/Ambulance.

Courtesy image: This architect’s rendering depicts the new 7,160-square-foot ambulance station and education center which will at last give the ambulance service a permanent home and its own dedicated space. Brookings Health System plans to break ground for the building later this summer.

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