Ambulances will continue to run outside Sturgis city limits -- for now

The future of limited ambulance service outside the Sturgis city limits. (KOTA)

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV)- The clock is winding down for residents outside Sturgis city limits to keep ambulance service.

"When you need an ambulance you want it to be there," says a member of the rural Sturgis ambulance group, Ross Lamphere.

Back in July, the Sturgis City Council met for more than four hours discussing limited ambulance service for residents outside city limits.

The council extended the deadline until Dec 31, giving the residents of Meade County time to come up with $60,000 to cover the cost of that service or risk the potential of losing it.

"Rural ambulance services continue to be under a lot of strain especially when a tax district or municipality does not support them," says Sturgis city manager, Daniel Ainslie.

"We're talking about a life or death issue here. So we have to come together as a community and figure out the best way and most equitable and reasonable way to come up with how to pay for that service," says one Meade County resident, Ed Miller.

Since that time, county residents that make up the Rural Sturgis ambulance group have been working to keep the ambulance service through fundraising.

"You can not expect others to pay for that service. If you receive it you should help contribute to the financial stability of that service, and that is what we're trying to do," says Lamphere.

By Nov 18, $30,000 needs to be raised in addition to a plan in regards to how the community will continue to raise the money over the years.

Lamphere says the group has raised a fair amount of money and they're working diligently on plans to keep paying for service outside city limits.

"There is a lot of differing opinions, but I think everybody is aware of the overall goal that we need to reach," says Miller.