Western South Dakota's Only Ranch Station

Sturgis Ambulance receives awards at EMS Conference

PIERRE, S.D. – Shawn Fischer of Sturgis is one of the people or agencies that were recognized by the South Dakota Emergency Medical Services Association during their annual conference last month (Oct. 27-29, 2023).

Fischer heads up the Sturgis Ambulance Service and her team took home the first place trophy in the Sanford Health Trauma competition.

The Sturgis Ambulance also took home the Sue Schuurman Memorial Award, which is a tribute to the memory of a dedicated EMS advocate. The award allows recipients to purchase essential equipment for their squads. Sturgis Ambulance will use the award to acquire equipment designed to improve the administration of I.V.’s to children.

Scott Larson of Highmore was chosen as the EMT of the Year. Larson was selected because of his exceptional patient care, advocacy, professionalism and dedication to ongoing professional education that have made him a role model for all EMTs.

Volunteer EMS services are the backbone of many communities, providing essential care without hesitation. This year, the Plankinton Ambulance and the Leola Ambulance were recognized for their dedication as Volunteer EMS Services of the Year.

Travis Spier with Sanford Health in Sioux Falls is the EMS Instructor of the Year. This award is presented to an EMS Instructor who has shown unwavering dedication and commitment to providing EMS education in the state of South Dakota.

Lifetime Membership recognitions were given to five individuals who have demonstrated exceptional dedication and service to the SDEMSA over a period of 15 years or more. The recipients are:

  • Brenda Sinning – Lennox
  • Ron Carlson – Hurley
  • JD Geigle – Spearfish
  • Shawn Fischer – Sturgis
  • Bonnie Nelson – Lake Preston


Chad Madsen with Day County Ambulance Service in Webster was named the Paramedic of the Year. His excellence in patient care, advocacy, professionalism and continuous commitment to professional education earned him the honor.

The Military Medic of the Year Award honors the extraordinary achievements of military medics who excel in the performance of emergency medicine, particularly in theater patient care. Sargent Rachel Hobbs with Rapid City Fire Rescue and the South Dakota National Guard received this award.

Lennox Ambulance, predominantly staffed by career professionals, is recognized as the Career EMS Service of the Year.

The President’s Award is presented to those who have significantly contributed to furthering the goals and objectives of EMS in South Dakota. This year’s honors went to Margaret Farrel of Custer and Mikayla Titus with the Northeast South Dakota Area Health Education Center based in Aberdeen.

Amy Marsh with Sioux Falls Fire Rescue received the Appreciation + Gratitude Award, a recognition from the SDEMSA President for her remarkable contributions to the organization.

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