NEW: Clark County Ambulance Service at impasse with county commission

November 10, 2023

Mike Tanner

CLARK, S.D.–The city of Clark and Clark County are without their own ambulance service for at least the next week.

Multiple sources confirmed to KWAT News that as of 7 a.m. today, Clark Ambulance shut down, and will remain out of service for at least the next week.

In the meantime, Watertown Fire Rescue will be responsible for ambulance coverage in Clark County.

The driving distance between the two cities is 33 miles, and even further to western Clark County.

Multiple sources who spoke with KWAT News say the issues between Clark Ambulance and the Clark County Commission boil down to staffing, salaries and the lack of overtime pay.

Randy Angermeier is the administrator with Clark Ambulance, which provides 24 hour service. He says he recently worked a stretch of 19 straight days where he was on duty around-the clock.

The staff, including Angermeier, consists of just three people.

Bob Koistinen is one of those three. He’s been a paramedic for 33 years. He says all they’re asking for is, “a fair wage.” Right now, Koistinen says when you look at the number of hours worked, and the take home pay, the EMT and paramedics are barely making minimum wage.

Koistinen previously worked for Lake Norden Ambulance, and still commutes from there daily. He says the Clark Ambulance employees met with county commissioners this week in executive session, but would not comment further on those discussions.

The county commission is expected to hear the issues of Clark Ambulance employees again at their meeting next week.

KWAT News reached out to County Commissioners Chris Sass and Terry Schlagel for comment, but was unable to reach them.