Bakken Boom Impacts Bismarck Emergency Services - - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Bakken Boom Impacts Bismarck Emergency Services

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Metro Area Ambulance Service, Bismarck Metro Area Ambulance Service, Bismarck

Housing and roads continue to be an issue the state just can't keep up with in western North Dakota.  But you might be surprised to learn what else the energy boom is impacting.

If it seems like you're hearing more sirens these days -- it's probably because you are.  "We are busier as an ambulance service and the reason for that is we've seen an increase in outside the area responses," says Dan Schaefer, Metro Area Ambulance Service, Bismarck.

Though the North Dakota capital is hours from oil country, emergency response teams in Bismarck are feeling the impact of the Bakken boom.  "We have had to increase, essentially, our staffing, because of the extra pressure from western North Dakota," says Schaefer.
That pressure has caused Metro to pitch-in with transfers coming from places like Watford City by meeting emergency transports in Dickinson then bringing patients the rest of the way into Bismarck.  That way, emergency services out of western North Dakota can get back to oil country.  

It's also changed the way Metro-Area Ambulance does business locally.  If they're not out responding to an emergency or transferring a patient, they're out in position ready for a dynamic response.  

"So things have changed.  It used to be where you could kind of enjoy some time in your station and do some work in the station, etcetera.  Anymore, you're spending much more time inside the ambulance doing and being ready for those calls," says Schaefer.

Metro Area Ambulance Service also notes an increase in local emergency calls year-over-year for the last decade due to population increases in the Bismarck-Mandan area.

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