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Northern Berkshire EMS Receives $665K In Grants
Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
12:00PM / Monday, December 05, 2022
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Northern Berkshire EMS announced a few grants they have received over the years throughout the pandemic.

Meaney said now every ambulance will have an AED.

Meaney said the new equipment is all top of the line.


The Toyota was purchased from K-M Toyota in North Adams and will eventually be lettered.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass.— Northern Berkshire EMS announced three different Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grants the service has received over the past few years through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program.
 
"We have been dealing with COVID, so we have been really isolated and really haven't done any proper announcements on these grants," General Manager John Meaney Jr. said at a small press conference Monday, Dec. 5. "...This money is certainly helpful to our organization and allows us to plan into the future and utilize capital funding for other projects."
 
A $48,000 grant from fiscal year 2019 funded the purchase of a community paramedic van that will be used in the ambulance services' Community EMS Program. This includes the post-overdose outreach and the car seat passenger safety programs. 
 
"This is one of those vehicles that's kind of versatile, and it's not your standard ambulance by any means. It doesn't look like an ambulance and allows us to bring different equipment to different populations that we serve."
 
The van will also be used in the EMS's emerging Mobile Integrated Health Program that Northern Berkshire EMS plans to roll out in the coming year.
 
"Hopefully we'll be able to navigate that into mobile-integrated health," Meaney said. "We aren't quite there yet." 
 
Mobile Integrated Health aims to provide quality and cost-effective medical care by coordinating resources among EMS staff, hospitals, insurance companies, and in-home caregivers.
 
"It will allow individuals in a nonemergency situation to get some interventions and decrease some of the taxing effects in the emergency room," said Amalio Jusino, grant writer and president of Emergency Response Consulting. "It gives that face-to-face integration with a medical provider."
 
The Toyota was purchased from K-M Toyota in North Adams and will eventually be lettered.
 
A second $26,000 grant from fiscal year 2020 will be used to purchase 10 Automatic External Defibrillators (AED).
 
"This will replace our aging AEDs that we have, but also allows us to expand and get AEDs in every ambulance essentially," Meaney said. "Also, it will allow us to put AEDs in the two stations."
 
Currently, both the North Adams and Williamstown stations do not have AEDs. If all of the ambulances are out, staff do not have access to AEDs in the station. Meaney said people often stop at the station with medical emergencies so the permanent AEDs will be good to have.
 
The largest of the three grants is a $591,000 fiscal year 2021 grant. $499,000  will fund the purchase of 11 cardiac monitors to replace aging equipment. 
 
"We are fortunate to have these funding opportunities through FEMA and Homeland Security that allow us to stay in times with technology," Jusino said. "That allows our employees to feel like they are a valued service and are not using old obsolete equipment."
 
$92,000 will be used to provide training for up to 6 EMTs to upgrade to the paramedic level.  Also, the funds will allow Northern Berkshire EMS to train up to four paramedics to the community paramedic level to support both the Community EMS program and the Mobile Integrated Health Program.
 
"With this funding, we will be able to increase the knowledge base internally. That person in the organization that may not be able to fund themselves to go to training or even with our offset tuition programs it could still be difficult," Jusino said. "This is 100 percent funding."
 
The AFG Program provides direct federal financial assistance to eligible fire departments, nonaffiliated EMS organizations, and State Fire Training Academies. 
 
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