Mdewakanton Emergency Services is a full-time, professional fire and ambulance department staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As an exercise of governmental authority the department serves Community members, guests of the Community, and residents of Scott County communities through mutual aid agreements with all the local governments in Scott County to provide assistance upon request for fire and emergency services. The fire station opened in 2002, and now responds to an average of 200 calls a month. With a response time of two minutes or less to anywhere on the reservation, the department is equipped to handle virtually any emergency.
Firefighters control and extinguish fires; handle hazardous materials incidents;
conduct water, ice, rope, high angle, and confined space rescues; and respond to
vehicular accidents. The department has helped fight fires at a Belle Plaine apartment
complex, at a church in Shakopee, and at a grain bin at the harbor in Savage.
Mdewakanton Emergency Services also helps cover other districts when their fire
departments are out on a call or otherwise unavailable.
has three Advanced Life Support ambulances and a staff of trained paramedics to respond to emergency situations. The ambulance crew, which consists of one paramedic and one Emergency Medical Technician, can perform advanced airway techniques, take vital signs, interpret electrocardiograms, administer oxygen, give medications, start IVs, perform emergency obstetrics, and respond to all types of trauma. The department does an average of 60 patient transports each month to local hospitals. Emergency Medical Technicians from the SMSC Gaming Enterprise as well as Mdewakanton Emergency Services have had several successful defibrillator "saves" where patients were shocked with a defibrillator and had their heart rhythm restored. These patients were transported to a local hospital for evaluation, stabilization, and cardiac catheterization to open blocked vessels in the heart. When these procedures are done quickly, it results in minimal heart damage. Patients' outcomes have been greatly improved by the quick response of Community responders.
Mdewakanton Emergency Services has a training program to insure that firefighters and paramedics are fully prepared to handle virtually any emergency situation which might arise. To maintain a high level of competency weekly trainings are held on a variety of scenarios which staff might face. They practice ventilation, hazardous materials response, firefighter rescue, fire suppression, mock crashes, and medical emergency procedures. They also participate in joint training exercises with other area fire departments several times a year. Team Members who work in Security for the Gaming Enterprise also have the opportunity to participate in a unique cross-training program to become Level 1 Firefighters. Local youth ages 14 to 21 have participated in SMSC Explorer Post 9100 since 2003, devoting two hours each week to learning the work of firefighters. Their first year Mdewakanton Fire Post 9100 was awarded Minnesota "New Explorer Post of the Year." Members study and practice to become state certified first responders.
Mdewakanton Emergency Services offers Avian Flu Preparation and CPR/First Aid classes for members and staff in conjunction with the SMSC Health Department. They take blood pressures and do glucose monitoring for health screenings at wellness events. They conduct outreach and education for youth and offer tours of the fire station. They also offer classes for certification which are open to outside agencies: Hazardous Materials, Firefighter I and II, and Emergency Medical Services. A recent addition is the National Incident Management System Training, federally mandated for all emergency service providers after the national tragedy on September 11, 2001. This class teaches agencies how to manage emergencies and work together in a unified command format. Mdewakanton Emergency Services also provides customized training for police and fire departments and additional Continuing Education Classes.
Through its efforts of meeting specific preparedness criteria outlined by a partnership between the National Weather Service and state and local emergency managers, Mdewakanton Emergency Services assisted the SMSC in becoming recognized as a StormReady Community. The StormReady program recognizes locations with superior communication and safety skills before, during, and after, severe weather.