(KFVS) - More money was added to the Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations bill for a new grant program that supports rural fire and emergency medical services.
The $5 million, created through the Supporting and Improving Rural EMS Needs Act, supports EMS agencies in training and recruiting staff, conducting certification courses and purchasing equipment like naloxone, first aid kits, power stretchers or new ambulances.
“In many small and rural towns in Illinois and across the country, rural fire and EMS agencies are a lifeline in their communities. One of the biggest challenges I’ve heard from rural EMS professionals is a lack of steady funding to support their operations. After meeting with rural EMS officials from Nauvoo, Illinois, I introduced the SIREN Act last year. I’m pleased this new grant program can finally start bringing much needed funding to our rural communities,” Durbin said.
The SIREN Act was signed into law in 2018 as part of the Farm Bill. It is the first year of annual funding for the grant program.