Funding EMS training, equipment through state funds grants

State funding is a great choice for EMS agencies that do not meet eligibility requirements or have applied for and not been awarded funds from major grant programs


By EMSGrantsHelp Staff

Many emergency services departments and first responders are aware of the major nationwide grant cycles, such as the Assistance to Firefighters Grant, the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, and the upcoming Siren Act. These grantors provide funding for departments to purchase life-saving and essential equipment, as well as training programs. 

As funding is available nationwide, these programs are known to be competitive. Though it is highly encouraged departments apply for these high-profile grants, pending eligibility and priority requirements, it is also essential for departments to be aware of other funding opportunities. Many of these can be found via state funding. 

It is essential for departments to be aware of funding opportunities, many of which can be found via state funding. (Photo/Utah Bureau of EMS and preparedness)
It is essential for departments to be aware of funding opportunities, many of which can be found via state funding. (Photo/Utah Bureau of EMS and preparedness)

States identify local departments’ needs and aim to address them in the form of grants. Common themes present themselves from state to state. Below is a list of funding commonly found opportunities available in various states: 

Funding for rural EMS services

States recognize that many rural communities lack access to life-saving medical treatment. To combat this trend, states will set aside funds in order to offer grants to rural EMS agencies. Agencies can apply for various needs, such as equipment, training and personnel. 

One example is the North Dakota Rural EMS Assistance Fund through the North Dakota Department of Health. With a summer due date, this opportunity funds projects that will “facilitate the development of a reliable EMS system providing reasonable EMS at a reasonable cost within the state of North Dakota.” This can be a number of budgetary items, such as personnel costs and equipment.   

Funding for medical equipment

States will also make Emergency Medical Services Funds available which EMS agencies can utilize for equipment needs. For example, the New Mexico Emergency Medical Services Fund aims to make funds, “available to municipalities and counties, in proportion to their needs, for use in the establishment and enhancement of local emergency medical services in order to reduce injury and loss of life.” This program is administered through the New Mexico Department of Health. 

Funding for EMS training 

States also recognize that adding training as an eligible project expense is essential for EMS departments to maintain up-to-date certification of its members. For instance, Pennsylvania’s Fire Company and Emergency Medical Service Grant Program offers grants to volunteer and career fire, emergency medical services and rescue companies. Along with an array of eligible budget categories, such as facility construction and renovation, training and certification of members is an eligible expense. 

When searching for grant programs in your state, use the tips below to find the right fit for your department/agency: 

  1. Identify your department/agency’s need
  2. Identify the potential administering agency
    • Call and email grant administrators/POCs at the agency for more information regarding the potential opportunity
    • This agency is typically responsible for managing the grant program, which includes opening and closing the grant application, establishing and administering the review panel, and identifying awardees through the competitive process. Examples include departments of health and offices of state fire commissioners. 
  3. Search your state’s website for available grant programs
  4. Search specific department for state program (i.e. Education → State Department of Education)
  5. Mark your calendars
  6. Prepare required materials before the application opens

State funding takeaway

State funding is a great choice for EMS departments/agencies that do not meet eligibility requirements for other major grant programs or have applied for funding in the past through other grant programs that were not awarded. Also, departments/agencies can apply for both state and local funds to enhance existing programs or to implement new projects.

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