The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) has awarded more than $1.7 million to stabilize and improve Emergency Medical Service (EMS) programs in the state. The monies will be distributed to 20 different EMS-related entities which submitted proposals for funding. A total of 22 separate proposals will be funded.
One of those was awarded to Heartland Medical Direction (Crescent), who helps provide medical direction to E.M.S. and E.M.R. agencies at various locations across Oklahoma.
“With this grant, Heartland will be able to purchase high fidelity training manikins that can be taken to the agencies for training,” Dr. Bill Worden said.
Dr. Worden has already begun the process of scheduling training with the rural fire-EMS agencies he supports.
“A huge obstacle for volunteer departments is training. Many EMS training programs are in larger metropolitan areas and during business hours. This grant will allow Heartland Medical Direction to bring to training to the rural departments on evenings and weekends.”
Award applications were scored by economic viability and cost effectiveness, geographic area and the relationships between participating organizations, population and overall scope of need.
“The purpose for this fund is to stabilize and improve EMS functions within the state,” said Dale Adkerson, OERSSIRF Contract Manager. “These restricted tobacco taxes help fund many EMS programs servicing rural Oklahoma.”
The OSDH distributes these funds each year, and a panel of nine volunteers meets to review and score the proposals. The cumulative score determines their ranking among the submissions for that year. This is the ninth distribution for this fund. A total of 68 qualified entities have been awarded 144 contracts since the fund was established.