HCHC EMS receives national grant award

Henry County Health Center Emergency Medical Services (EMS) was one of 27 agencies nationwide to receive a $198,913 grant through the SIREN Act. The funding will be used for the Henry County Health Center EMS Training & Recruitment Program to capture the strengths of grant participants, encourage professional growth and address current challenges. The work will benefit both EMS providers, community volunteers and patients, and strengthen the rural region’s health care environment.

The SIREN Act focuses on serving rural communities and covers a variety of programs including training and education, licensing and certifications, and purchasing emergency medical equipment. The Siren Act also supports the recruitment and retention of personnel to serve communities more efficiently, and emphasizes innovative methods to advance and educate emergency healthcare providers through technology-enhanced methods.

“This grant is helpful in modernizing our entire county EMS system and crucial to the recruitment and retention of both existing and new EMS providers in our system,” commented Jacob Dodds, HCHC EMS Director. “I am very proud that our proposed plan was outstanding enough that we were selected as one of the only 27 agencies nationwide to be awarded this grant.”

The grant funds will enable EMS to do the following:

  • Purchase an advanced life support simulator system which, when combined with specialized adult and pediatric manikins, uses reality-based scenarios to enhance providers’ proficiency.
  • Enhance the continuing education and administrative assistance provided to volunteer first responders by giving them access to the online training and credential management system used by HCHC EMS.
  • Provide scholarship assistance for approximately 20 individuals seeking to obtain initial EMS certification at the Emergency Medical Responder, Emergency Medical Technician, or Paramedic level training programs at Indian Hills and Southeastern Community Colleges.
  • Purchase personal protective equipment for EMS staff to offer better protection at accident scenes where there is broken glass, metal, chemicals etc. This gear will be a lighter, but similar to the same gear worn by firefighters.

Expected outcomes for the HCHC EMS Training and Recruitment Program by the end of 12 months included: improved organizational and community collaboration for EMS recruitment and retention; improved access to and coordination of EMS training programs; and a strengthened network of responders and partners better capable of addressing psycho-social and medical needs of local communities.