Act Now! Grant Funding Available for Rural EMS Agencies

Author: Tim Nowak


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is offering rural EMS agencies the opportunity to apply for grant funding, up to $200,000 for one year, to provide training and necessary equipment to help combat the effects of substance abuse and emergency response challenges within their communities. This grant excludes private-for-profit EMS agencies but does allow private-non-profit and municipal-based (including fire-based and municipal/3rd service) agencies to apply.

This money can be used to recruit and train personnel (including volunteer personnel), acquire necessary PPE to respond to substance abuse calls, train responders in motivational interviewing, educate providers in social determinants of health, and develop programs designed to address substance abuse issues within their community.

What’s required of your EMS agency?

Follow the instructions on the SAMHSA website (Rural Emergency Medical Services Training Grant | SAMHSA) and develop a plan to track some data along the way. All data collection criteria are listed clearly in the application materials provided online and are simplistic to adhere to.

How can you write a successful proposal?

Have a plan! Because this grant is geared toward substance abuse education, response, and mitigation, it seems only appropriate that you prepare yourself (and your application) with up-to-date and trending stats surrounding these types of calls. Research ideas on how to better train and equip your crews to prepare for and respond to these types of situations and be clear about how you plan to utilize the money to support your department. Perhaps it’s funding a new position within your agency that acts as a quality assurance officer, or one that focuses on community risk reduction. Either, or both, of these positions can fulfil the requirements of the grant and have a lasting impact on your agency and community. Maybe this could be the opportunity that your agency is looking for to kick-start its community EMT/paramedic program. Or maybe it’s about gaining funding to support an operational assessment to help your agency better identify its opportunities and challenges toward addressing your community’s behavioral health needs.

Time is limited!

The grant application window has been open since mid-December 2021, and it closes in two weeks on Friday, February 14th, 2022. If your EMS agency is considering applying for this grant but needs assistance in brainstorming ideas or laying out program costs, reach out to us for some last-minute help!


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Posted by Rachel Ray

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