This is a disturbing story from the Keloland Media Group – some South Dakota towns are having trouble hiring Emergency Medical Technicians for ambulances.  If the trouble persists, some towns may have to shut down ambulance service.  Read it here: http://www.keloland.com/news/article/news/south-dakota-ambulance-services-struggle-to-hire-staff

Wow.   Ambulances, fire, police, EMTs, EMS – these are things we never really tend to give thought to – until we need it.   Worse than needing it, is needing it and not having it available.

For 811, the scenario is a bit different.  You have it, but you don’t use it.

“I know where those lines are buried.”  “I’m only digging a foot deep.”   “I’m not using a backhoe to dig.”  Those are famous last words.

Uh-huh.   Let’s look at some other famous last words.

Elvis Presley:  “I’m going to the bathroom to read.”

Jack Daniel:  “One last drink, please.”

(Some people may want to add “Hey, y’all, watch this!” to the list, but hopefully you don’t know anyone quite that dumb)

There’s really no excuse for not using 811.   The call is free.  The subsequent locating of underground utilities is also free.  And it’s the law.

South Dakota is home to the Badlands, a beautiful and yet aptly named national park area.

However, what’s above the ground isn’t near as bad as what’s below the ground as you’ll quickly discover when you strike a natural gas line while digging without getting locates performed first.


  1. Don’t utter any famous last words in regards to digging in South Dakota.
  2. Make use of South Dakota One Call/811
  3. If you know any EMTs looking for work, send the above newspaper story to them.

Until next week, safe digging!


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