Wayne Simmons serves as the ambulance representative for the local first responders. He said the grant has been in the works for three years.
"The Oregon County Ambulance Board applied for the grant. Lyrd Kelly, an ambulance board member, was very instrumental in getting the grant. We also received help from the Oregon County Health Department," Simmons said.
The first phase of the grant, $17,424 in equipment, has been received. "Included in the grant are six automatic external defibrilators, (AED). We gave one to Koshkonong School, Couch School and Sheriff Tim Ward," Simmons said.
He said 15 fully stocked first responder bags came with the grant. Inside is everything a first responder or EMT might need in an emergency such as an automobile accident.
Fifteen oxygen bags and 15 hand-held radios are also now in stock at the Alton Ambulance building. He said various other first responder items to restock the closet at the ambulance building also came with the grant.
Simmons and Ward said they are both appreciative of the emergency equipment their departments received. "All law enforcement officers in Missouri are required to take first responder training. This was added to basic law enforcement training 10 years ago," Ward said. He said all his officers are trained in CPR and and AED.
Simmons said in September of this year the second phase of the grant will be received and another $22,005 worth of first responder equipment, including two complete sets of jaws of life, will be added. The last phase of the grant will come in September 2007.
"Funding for this project was provided in part by the Missouri Foundation of Health. This is a philanthropic organization whose vision is to improve the health of the people in the communities it serves," Simmons said.