South Dakota joins the EMS Compact in 2021

*Archived News Story, originally published by JEMS on May 11, 2021 **

South Dakota is now poised to become the twenty-second state to join the Interstate Commission for EMS Personnel Practice, known as the “EMS Compact.”  On March 25, Governor Kristi Noem signed the bill, which will become law on July 1, 2021.   

The EMS compact enables licensed EMS personnel to cross state borders using a privilege to practice in other EMS Compact member states without obtaining a separate license. Other provisions of the EMS Compact legislation include a coordinated personnel licensing data system for members states to share information on their licensed personnel. The Compact also supports expedited licensing in member states for military personnel and their spouses upon discharge from service.  

“We are happy to be joining the EMS Compact,” said Marty Link, SD EMS Director.  “This is great news for the citizens of our State, our EMS personnel, and our neighbors in the surrounding states.  Given our strategic location with neighboring states, we recognize we are an important part of the national EMS Compact puzzle.” 

Joseph Schmider, Director of the Office of EMS and Trauma System Coordination, Chairperson, Interstate Commission for EMS Personnel Practice, said: “South Dakota is an especially key state to the Compact.  They border North Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, and Wyoming, which are already members of the Compact.  South Dakota’s entry is a big boost to EMS in the north central region of the United States.” 

South Dakota’s legislation was supported by the South Dakota EMS Association, the South Dakota Ambulance Association, and the State EMS Office.  “The South Dakota legislature meets for only two months each year, so their consideration of this legislation is especially remarkable,” said Dan Manz, Educator for the Interstate Commission for EMS Personnel Practice. 

South Dakota joins Louisiana in entering the EMS Compact on July 1, 2021, as that is the date both state’s bills will become law.