Federal support of rural EMS is not always obvious, but several key programs could not exist without federal funding. Some examples include:
Rural EMS and Trauma Technical Assistance Center--The federal Office of Rural Health Policy funded REMSTTAC for three years. Congress then cut the funding, but the contractor, the Critical Illness and Trauma Foundation, still maintains the website (www.remsttac.org) and a toll-free technical assistance line, and continues to contribute to the Center's work. REMSTTAC's website contains a number of resources, including a resource page with current federal grant opportunities; a listing of current events; a products page containing a state directory of farm rescue resources, a rural ambulance budget model, a rural chief's guide to implementing the Rural and Frontier EMS Agenda for the Future, a community-based needs assessment tool, a rural manager's awareness program, and others; a learning and resource center; and a research page.
Rural Assistance Center--The RAC is also funded by the ORHP, and its website contains a variety of resources, including frequently asked questions, tools, funding, published documents, journals, related rural EMS organizations, success stories, news and others. The main RAC site, www.raconline.org, contains a number of rural-related links; its EMS page is at www.raconline.org/info_guides/ems.
Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium--The RDPC, www.ruraltraining.org, is funded through the Department of Homeland Security. The RDPC mission is to create rural-relevant courses for rural first responders, have them certified as training courses by DHS, then deliver them in rural communities or through distance learning, many free of charge. The website contains a course catalog and training schedule and a mechanism to request training.
Other Aids--There are a host of nonfederal websites with helpful information as well. Some of these include projects aimed at using rural EMTs and paramedics in new ways (e.g., the International Roundtable on Community Paramedicine, www.ircp.info, and the Community Paramedic curriculum project, www.communityparamedic.org), while others discuss rural EMS grants and grant-writing and related resources (www.grantcentralstation.info).