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Oregon Office of Rural Health Offers EMS Continuing Education Grants

Emergency medical services (EMS) continuing education grant applications are now available through the Oregon Office of Rural Health at Oregon Health & Science University. Eligible applicants include volunteer first responders and emergency medical technicians working in rural Oregon and affiliated with an EMS agency. Grants are worth up to $300 per person for continuing education purposes.

The grants are supported by the Oregon Office of Rural Health through the Apple A Day Campaign. Established in November 2009, the Apple A Day Campaign is an ongoing effort to help support the recruitment and retention of volunteer first responders and EMTs in rural Oregon communities, many of which do not have full-time or paid EMS services. Instead, these communities rely on volunteers. Initial training costs and continuing education requirements, paid for out of the volunteer’s own pocket, put additional burdens on already stretched volunteers.

“Volunteer EMTs and first responders are the front line of our health care system,” says Scott Ekblad, director of the Oregon Office of Rural Health at OHSU. “It can be quite a distance between the scene of an emergency and a hospital, so having trained personnel is essential. We believe this will help offset some of the cost and encourage more volunteers to get certified.”

“We want to make sure we are getting money to those who have committed to volunteering in their rural community,” says Dave Jones, P.A.-C., an EMT and a member of the Rural Health Coordinating Council.   “EMTs are a crucial link in our health care system and we really want to keep them.”  

The Apple A Day Campaign is ongoing, with a yearly event associated with the annual Oregon Rural Health Conference. Individuals and organizations can contribute by going to the Oregon Rural Health Web site at and clicking on the “Apple A Day” link.
The mission of the Oregon Office of Rural Health is to improve the quality, availability and accessibility of health care for rural Oregonians
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