EMS units across Nebraska receiving ARPA funding for new equipment, ambulances
BEATRICE – Rural ambulance services across Nebraska will be getting $25 million in funding to assist them in buying needed equipment and replacing ambulances.
The State of Nebraska announced the funding Wednesday, which comes from the American Rescue Plan Act. Senator Myron Dorn, of Adams…last year proposed legislation appropriating funds for the rural services. An application process for the money followed. Dorn said most of the grants will help replace ambulances, including Adams Fire and Rescue….where Dorn volunteers.
"There was a lot of funding that has become available to those squads. In Adams Rescue, we were in the process and had gotten a new ambulance in the last month or so, and that cost was over $300,000. The amounts some of these squads got, doesn't nearly cover the cost of a new ambulance. Many squads are always doing fundraisers to make sure they have the right equipment.....and make sure they have a good ambulance."
Dorn says rural fire and rescue departments played an especially critical role of serving the public during the coronavirus pandemic.
"If we didn't have the rescue squads and the fire departments in these small communities and had to wait for somebody, somewhere else...you are going to wait fifteen minutes to a half-hour. I'm really thankful we're able to help a whole bunch of squads."
Beatrice, Firth, Daykin, Diller, DeWitt, Adams, Clatonia, Plymouth, Hickman, Wymore and Sterling. The grants range from about $37,000 to $150,000. A total of 214 purchases are being supported by the ARPA funds.
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services received 320 eligible applications for either medical equipment or replacing an ambulance. EMS services in 87 of Nebraska’s 93 counties are receiving awards….representing about 75% of licensed EMS services in the state.