(Sioux Falls, SD) — The South Dakota Department of Health is fighting to address EMS staffing shortages. EMS teams are nearly 90 percent volunteer-based in the state. Lawmakers appropriated 20-million dollars toward bettering EMS services in 2022, but the changes are still underway. Over three-hundred life packs costing 35-thousand dollars each are being updated in ambulances. A research-based project is also being conducted, communicating with those working on the ground to get a better gauge of where the problem is most critical. Melissa Magstadt, secretary of the South Dakota Department of Health, says that something they’ve found so far in their study is that towns that offer EMS courses close by are less likely to be struggling with lack of staff.