Dead Zones: an Analysis of South Dakota's Rural EMS System

Document Type


Publication Date



Medicine and Health Sciences


EMS systems are public services that initiate prehospital care during urgent healthcare emergencies. Unfortunately, there are large discrepancies between urban and rural areas because the requirement to deliver high-quality pre-hospital emergency care in rural settings is different from what is required in urban settings. Several factors adversely affect the delivery of pre-hospital emergency care in rural areas; poor access to care is due not only to lack of resources such as certified care providers, emergency medical departments, and hospitals but also because of delays or difficulties in getting medical care. South Dakota relies on 160 ambulance services that are widely scattered across the rural state for emergency medical care. This oral presentation of my Undergraduate Honors Thesis investigates the challenges faced by rural EMS systems through an analysis of South Dakota's Emergency Medical System and the dead zones in ambulance coverage across the state.

First Advisor

Jonelle Hook

Second Advisor

Jamie Turgeon-Drake

Research Area

Health Sciences

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