Ivey administration’s allocation of CARES Act funds underscores importance of, support for first responders
Wednesday is National First Responders Day, and the importance of America’s tremendous first responders is even more magnified this year as the nation continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Alabama, Governor Kay Ivey’s administration recently established the Health Care and Emergency Response Providers grant program. This enabled first responders, including private ambulance and other emergency response service (EMS) providers, to receive federal funds through the state’s share of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
The grant program received a total allocation of $35 million, building on the Ivey administration’s total allocation of up to $250 million in CARES Act funds for healthcare-related purposes in Alabama.
This support for first responders and health care providers in general has drawn praise for Ivey and her administration. This includes the Alabama Association of Ambulance Services (AAAS).
“We applaud Governor Ivey and her administration for recognizing the critical role that EMS and ambulance providers are playing in the state’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated Jason Trammell, president of AAAS. “This funding will support providers across the state, who are working around the clock to serve their communities in a safe and efficient manner while their workers are on the frontlines of the fight against this virus.”
The Health Care & Emergency Response Providers grant program includes cash grants in an amount of up to $15,000 for providers that meet certainly eligibility requirements.
“Our company serves some of Alabama’s largest cities as well as its more rural areas. No matter where our providers are operating, health and safety is paramount to our underlying mission,” advised Brett Jovanovich of Lifeguard Ambulance Service. “With the cold and flu season around the corner, and with the increased potential of another wave of COVID-19, we intend to utilize these funds to fully ensure that our paramedics have the PPE and supplies needed for their safety and for the protection of patients in the communities we serve.”
In a statement to Yellowhammer News on Wednesday, Ivey spokesperson Gina Maiola said, “Governor Ivey has the highest respect for the many first responders across our state, especially as they have faced unusual obstacles over the last several months.”
“As the governor remains committed to getting this money in the hands of those who need it, she was proud to award $35 million of the CARES Act money to establish the Health Care and Emergency Response Providers grant program. These providers play a critical role in our state’s response to COVID-19, as well as in our day to day lives, and especially as we celebrate National First Responders Day, Governor Ivey applauds them for their invaluable, tough service,” she concluded.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn