U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said Wednesday rural emergency medical services face increasing pressure from several areas, and he's sponsoring legislation that can add some federal resources to help.
The Democrat from Springfield joined officials at the Flanagan-Graymont Fire Protection District to discuss his bipartisan legislation, the Supporting and Improving Rural EMS Needs (SIREN) Act.
It would reauthorize a $20 million annual federal grant program from fiscal 2019 through fiscal 2023 to directly support rural EMS agencies in training and recruiting staff and purchasing supplies and equipment. Individual grants would not exceed $200,000.
“In many small towns and rural areas in Illinois and across the country, rural EMS agencies are the backbone of the community, and are on the front lines in delivering quality emergency response services and patient care,” he said.