When you dial 911, you need help and you need it fast. Every minute makes a difference. Before January 1, Ortonville residents calling for emergency assistance were answered by someone in Morris, MN. That changed with the expansion of the Grant-Roberts Ambulance Service this week. Grant-Roberts, which has been privately owned by Barrett Wicklund of Fergus Falls, MN, since 1997, began serving the Ortonville and Marietta, MN, areas.
The Ortonville Ambulance company was owned by the city of Ortonville until three years ago, when Stevens County took over. Recently, Stevens County, whose county seat is in Morris, decided it was unable to provide effective and timely care because of its location and distance. “Stevens County approached us at Grant-Roberts Ambulance because we are much closer to Ortonville and could provide service more effectively,” explained local manager JoAnn Kranz.
Grant-Roberts Ambulance presently covers the two counties of Grant and Roberts in South Dakota with stations in Milbank and Sisseton. Each site has three trucks.
The two trucks currently in operation in Ortonville will continue to be used as well as the staff in Ortonville. “Milbank staff will also serve the new area,” noted Kranz.
Grant-Roberts Ambulance will take over the contract with the City of Ortonville that was currently in place with Stevens County. The contract will expire in two years at which time Grant-Roberts Ambulance will take over ownership. “This is a permanent move for us,” stated Kranz.
The first task for local personnel will be to reorganize the Ortonville station to run identical to the Milbank station. “We need to structure the two locations to run the same so personnel can easily work in both places,” said Duane Tillman, one of the local emplyees.
Over 30 full and part-time employees currently work at the stations in Grant and Roberts counties. The part-time staff in Ortonville will now be added to the service. The four full-time employees at the Milbank station include: Kranz, Tillman, Wayde Fraasch and Tracy Kurtz.