Sturgis lending support to improve retirement benefits for E.M.T.’s

Gary MatthewsNovember 16, 2021Local
courtesy/file photoSturgis lending support to improve retirement benefits for E.M.T.'s

STURGIS, S.D. – The City of Sturgis is lending its support to improve retirement benefits for its E.M.T.’s.

Currently, the state of South Dakota has three classifications of municipal employees. Class B retirement covers professions such as law enforcement, firefighters, and judicial – but E.M.T.’s are not included.

Not part of Class B retirement, EMS receive 2% less in retirement and are expected to work 10 to 15 years longer than other first responders.

Sturgis City Manager Daniel Ainslie says their entire ambulance crew deserves better.

“Our ambulance director, as well as our entire ambulance crew, are just fantastic. They have a massive response area, are quick on the scene for accidents, and they deal with a lot of challenging, physically demanding situations, and with that, there really comes a point that you can’t necessarily work as late into your  career where you can in other types of jobs.”

Ainslie says city staff believe there is an inherent unfairness in the classification system and they’re hoping the state Legislature will take up amending the definition of Class B, Public Safety members to include E.M.T.’s.

City leaders also feel such a move may help improve the ability to lure more E.M.T.’s into the area, as well as the state.