Electric Cooperatives Help Fund Jackets for Brookings Health System Ambulance Staff

Posted: 1/28/2014

Basin Electric Deer Creek Plant Superintendent Greg Opdahl presents a check for $2,000 to Brookings Health System’s ambulance staff Kelly Maser, Tom Papiernik, Mike Hanson, Britta Engen and Foundation Development Officer Barb Anderson.Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Sioux Valley Energy and H-D Electric donated a combined total of $3,760 to Brookings Health System Foundation to help purchase new three-season, high visibility jackets for the members of Brookings Health System’s ambulance department. The funds cover just over half the cost of the thirty jackets needed.

The new jackets, which comply with federal law, provide safety as well as protection from both weather and biological hazards. Their all-in-one design is a marked improvement over previous safety vests which were bulky when worn over the top of jackets.

Debra Biever, director of customer and employee relations at Sioux Valley Energy, delivers a donation of $1,600 from Operation Round Up. Accepting the check are Brookings Health System Foundation Development Officer Barb Anderson along with ambulance staff Mike Hanson, Gordon Dekkenga, Tim Austin, Sheila Monnier and Tom Papiernik.“Safety standards call for high visibility during daylight as well as reflective capability for nighttime,“ said Ambulance Department Director Gordon Dekkenga. “Both our staff and patients are safer as a result of these jackets, plus, using one piece of outerwear is more efficient. We are very grateful to Basin Electric, Sioux Valley Energy and H-D Electric.”

A portion of the contribution comes from donations made by customers and employees of Sioux Valley Energy. “Operation Round Up allows our customers to round up to the nearest dollar when paying their energy bill, thus creating a fund to help many non-profit organizations,” explained Debra Biever, director of customer and employee relations at Sioux Valley Energy.

H-D Electric Co-Op based in Clear Lake, S.D. has a similar fund for donations, while Basin Electric Power Cooperative has a program to match donations made by its member cooperatives.

“We are happy to support the efforts of our members H-D Electric and Sioux Valley Energy,” said Basin Electric Deer Creek Plant Superintendent Greg Opdahl. “In addition to their emergency service to our area, Brookings Health System’s ambulance staff participate in safety training at our Deer Creek Station near Elkton.”

Brookings Health System’s ambulance department serves the city of Brookings, the county of Brookings and the communities of Aurora, Bruce, Bushnell, Sinai and Volga. When requested, it also assists and provides advanced life support services for area ambulance services from Clear Lake, Estelline, White, Elkton, Arlington and Lake Preston.

Brookings Health System Foundation works to cultivate philanthropic gifts to support charity health care for those less fortunate; health and wellness education; facility, equipment, and technology upgrades; and other needs as they arise at Brookings Health System.

For more information about Brookings Health System Foundation or how you may contribute, please contact Foundation Officer Barb Anderson at (605) 696-8855 or foundation@brookingshealth.org.

About Brookings Health System

Brookings Health System, located in Brookings, South Dakota, includes a 49-bed hospital, the 79-bed Brookview Manor nursing home, and Brookhaven Estates apartments. It is a non-profit, city-owned facility that offers the community a full range of inpatient, outpatient, and extended care services. The emergency room is staffed 24 hours a day and provides around the clock medical-nursing care for patient needs ranging from minor injuries to life threatening crises. For more information about the services offered at Brookings Health System, please call (605) 696-9000 or visit us on the Web at brookingshealth.org.