PESHTIGO — Gov. Tony Evers, together with Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake, today announced an $8 million investment into supporting and stabilizing Wisconsin’s emergency medical services is being distributed to communities across Wisconsin. Gov. Evers previously announced the investment during his 2022 State of the State address as part of a $20 million investment to support EMS providers across the state, especially in rural communities, which includes another $12 million for one-time flexible grants for small, under-resourced EMS providers who did not otherwise qualify for specific existing state grants.
“Our first responders play an absolutely vital role in the safety and security of our communities, and no matter what the emergency or where we live, we count on EMS providers to be there for us when we need them most,” said Gov. Evers. “But for too long, EMS providers and our local partners have been doing more with less, having to make tough decisions and even reduce or cut services that keep our communities safe. These folks know their communities best, so we’re getting them the resources with the flexibility to decide what they need to best serve their communities, keep Wisconsinites safe, and do their important work.”
The one-time supplemental $8 million investment, funded through the state’s American Rescue Plan Act dollars, was distributed to communities who receive annual Funding Assistance Program (FAP) grants. FAP grants are available to all public ambulance service providers, including volunteer fire departments, nonprofits, and county and municipality services, and can be used for things such as new emergency service vehicles, safety upgrades to existing vehicles, durable diagnostic medical equipment, immobilization equipment, patient transport equipment, and more. Each awardee received a supplemental grant of $24,390 in addition to their regularly allocated grant.
“Being able to access medical care quickly can provide life-saving minutes for families during their greatest time of need,” said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. “This investment gives a boost to our state’s EMS providers who are facing many challenges and risking their lives every day to protect the health and safety of their communities.”
The governor and secretary-designee highlighted the supplemental funding for FAP grants with three stops around the state in Peshtigo, Wausau, and Westby. In Peshtigo, the governor visited the city municipal building which had also received a more than $3 million grant to support the expansion of telemedicine accessibility in the area and the development of two new EMS facilities through the Neighborhood Investment Fund Grant Program announced by the governor earlier this year. While there, the governor announced that 10 local providers in Marinette County will be eligible to receive nearly $244,000 in supplemental funding, bringing the total funding available for providers in Marinette County through the FAP grants to more than $307,000—nearly five times more than they would have originally received without the governor’s supplemental investment.
While in Wausau, Gov. Evers and Secretary-designee Timberlake visited the Wausau Fire Department which is set to receive up to $32,800 through FAP grants and the supplemental funding to continue their good work in the Wausau community. Wausau Fire Department is one of 12 providers serving Marathon County that are eligible to receive more than $292,000 in supplemental funding, bringing the total FAP grant funding available to providers in Marathon County to more than $373,000.
Finally, in Westby, the governor and secretary-designee visited the Westby-Christiana Fire District, which received a $15,000 Healthcare Infrastructure Capital Grant earlier this year to purchase a new LUCAS CPR compression device, to highlight the more than $73,000 in supplemental funding that Vernon County is eligible to receive. With this supplemental investment, the LaFarge Area EMS, Hillsboro Area Ambulance Service, and Readstown EMS are eligible to receive more than $91,500 in FAP grants.
A full list of grant awardees and amounts is available here.