Oregon Office of Rural Health

Six Rural Oregon Emergency Medical Service Agencies Awarded Equipment Grants

EMS equipment grants from the Oregon Office of Rural Health and The Roundhouse Foundation support life-saving agencies and the communities they serve in Clatsop, Douglas, Klamath, Lake, Lincoln, and Polk counties.

PORTLAND, Ore. – (Nov. 8, 2023) The Roundhouse Foundation recently partnered with the Oregon Office of Rural Health (ORH) to award equipment grants to six emergency medical service (EMS) agencies, located throughout rural Oregon.

Access to appropriate and functioning EMS equipment is essential to assuring quality responses to patients who call EMS for help. However, rural EMS agencies’ budgets are often strapped for cash due to low call volumes, low reimbursement rates, and other circumstances. At the same time, funding for EMS equipment is often unavailable through federal, state, and foundation sources.

“Early on, the ORH committed to supporting rural EMS agencies,” says ORH director Robert Duehmig. “We recognize the critical services our rural EMS agencies provide and also understand they are often under-resourced to provide these services where and when people need them the most. We have offered small training grants and other training opportunities to EMS agencies for nearly 15 years. However, we’ve heard many times over that EMS agencies have difficulty acquiring new or updated equipment due to limited financial resources.”

ORH was able to expand its support to rural EMS agencies by providing a one-time equipment grant opportunity in 2022 to three EMS agencies. During the process, ORH received over 50 applications from EMS agencies from across the state with requests totaling nearly $1 million. However, ORH only had limited funds to give. After learning of the need, The Roundhouse Foundation offered to help ORH fund an additional six equipment grants.

“We fund efforts that support rural Oregonians in meeting their basic needs,” says Erin Borla, The Roundhouse Foundation’s executive director. “Providing access to life-saving equipment that EMS agencies and rural communities need was a natural fit for our foundation.”

This newest round of funding went to EMS agencies located in Clatsop, Douglas, Klamath, Lake, Lincoln, and Polk counties. By and large, equipment requests from these agencies were focused on automatic chest compressors, which replace human compressors in cardiac arrest events. The device helps relieve EMS crews, with limited staff, from rotating into compressions.

“We are so pleased to partner with The Roundhouse Foundation to assist rural EMS agencies in obtaining equipment that is desperately needed,” added Duehmig. “Their generosity and vision to create positive change through strategic collaborations makes a real difference for our work and rural communities.”

About the Oregon Office of Rural Health

The Oregon Office of Rural Health is Oregon’s State Office of Rural Health, based at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Ore. The organization serves all rural communities in the state and focuses on improving the quality, availability, and accessibility of health care for rural Oregonians. More information can be found at www.ohsu.edu/oregon-office-of-rural-health.

About the Roundhouse Foundation

The Roundhouse Foundation is a private family foundation based in Sisters, Ore. that supports creative solutions to the unique challenges associated with rural culture and the landscapes of the Pacific Northwest. For more information, call 541-904-0700 or visit their website at www.RoundhouseFoundation.org.