The West River Health Services Ambulance has been serving the Hettinger and Adams County area since 1944. In the 73 years of its existence, WRHSA has reached a number of prestigious milestones, the first coming in 1968 as being the first North Dakota ambulance service to have its volunteer members receive formalized training. The second came in 1987 when we were the first volunteer ambulance service in North Dakota to employ a full-time paramedic and provide Advanced Life Support (ALS) services to our coverage area.
Today, WRHSA continues our tradition of caring as a Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulance service with ALS capabilities covering nearly 2,500 square miles spanning several counties and two states with approximately 300 calls per year. We are a hospital-based service that utilizes both full-time EMS personnel and supplemental employees (volunteers). Our full-time staff includes one EMR/driver, one EMT, one advanced EMT, and two paramedics. As of right now, we have one full-time employee enrolled in a paramedic course and another who is working towards enrollment. Excellent panels of supplemental that not only work their full-time jobs, but also provide coverage and take call to ensure that no 911 call goes unanswered support our full-time staff. Our supplemental staff is composed of three EMTs and eight CPR Drivers.
As part of our commitment to preserving and providing high quality emergency prehospital care to the communities served and surrounding areas, we continually provide different courses to the public including EMT, EMR (first responder), First Aid, and CPR. Students who complete the EMT and EMR courses are eligible to join our service upon successful passing of the NREMT written and practical tests which they are prepared for during the course.
WRHSA would like to extend sincere and heartfelt thanks to all members, past and present, who have faithfully served and committed a portion of their busy lives to our service. It takes true commitment to leave a warm bed in the middle of the night to go out and work in the cold ditch, rescuing someone who crashed their car, or to perform CPR to the point of physical exhaustion just so mom or dad, grandma or grandpa, aunt or uncle, gets to go home to their families again. So, support your local ambulance crew, because you just never know when you might need to go for a ride with them!