The New Grant on the Block

There is a new federal grant on the block and virtually no one is speaking about it.  This grant has the chances to make a huge difference to departments.  Therefore, you need to be aware of it now, so that you may plan for the grant process.

The Law

Photo by Tony Greco.

On April 5, 2018, Representative Greg Gianforte (R-Montana) introduced in the United States House of Representatives a bill called the Siren Act of 2018 (H.R. 5429).  In short, this bill was written to reauthorize the Rural EMS Training and Assistance Program.  Senator Richard Durbin (D-Illinois) introduced the bill in the Senate (S.2830).  As with many bills, they were referred to committees and changed over time.

This bill never made it out of committee.  However, the good news for us in EMS (including fire-based EMS), is that it was added to a bill called H.R. 2 Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018.  President Donald Trump signed this bill into law on December 20th, 2018.  This is truly a Christmas present for agencies providing EMS services.

So now the background is over; let us take a minute and discuss what this Act, specifically the EMS portion of the Act, means for us.

In short, this Act reauthorizes the Rural EMS Training and Assistance Program.  This is a grant program that is designed for EMS including fire-based EMS agencies.  In essence, it is an Assistance to Firefighters Grant for EMS.

Am I Eligible?

There are several criteria for eligibility for this grant.

First, you must be a local or tribal government which provides EMS (Fire-based and Non-Fire Based) -or- be an emergency medical services agency that is a 501(c) certified and tax exempt under 501(a) from the Internal Revenue Service Tax Code.  As part of this, your agency must provide service to, or be located in, a rural setting.  The law defines rural as any area designated by State regulation or law as rural, a rural census tract within a metropolitan area as designated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), or a non-metropolitan statistical area (i.e. an area that is not densely populated or sharing of economic similarities).

Second, you must submit an application as designated by the proper Federal official.  Since this is a new law, the information that the application requests is still uncertain.  However, I would think that information would be similar to the AFG application in referencing information such as your Tax Identification Number, DUNS number, and demographic information.

Second, you must submit an application as designated by the proper Federal official.  Since this is a new law, the information that the application requests is still uncertain.  However, I would think that information would be similar to the AFG application in referencing information such as your Tax Identification Number, DUNS number, and demographic information.

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