$3.2 million available for rural first responders to aid in fight against opioids

Published: Aug. 23, 2022 at 1:26 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Around $3.2 million in grants is available for rural first responders in Kansas to help fight the opioid crisis.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly says announced on Tuesday, Aug. 23, that about $3.2 million in grants is available to help rural first responders fight opioid abuse. She said the grants will fund training for carrying and administering approved medication for emergency reversal of opioid overdoses.

“The opioid crisis impacts families across Kansas, which is why it’s crucial that our first responders have the support and training they need to save lives and bring relief to our communities,” Gov. said. “This funding will be instrumental in helping struggling Kansans access appropriate treatment and recovery support services.”

Kelly indicated that the Substance Abuse and Mental health Services Administration First Responder-Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act grants are administered by the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services. She said the grants are open for application by rural first responder agencies and members of other key communities at the state, tribal and local levels.

“Far too many Kansans have lost loved ones, and far too many communities have experienced heartbreak at the hands of the opioid epidemic. This grant will help train our first responders to save lives and educate our neighbors about this issue, particularly in rural communities,” said Representative Sharice Davids (D-KS). “I’m glad to support these federal grants and to support Governor Kelly in ensuring this crisis is addressed in every corner of our state.”

The Governor noted that KDADS has chosen four rural regions which encompass 53 counties to implement the project based on the Kansas Board of Emergency Medical Services map. Those regions are as follows:

  • Region I – Northwest: Cheyenne, Rawlins, Decatur, Norton, Phillips, Sherman, Thomas, Sheridan, Graham, Rooks, Wallace, Logan, Gove, Trego, Ellis, Russell, Ness, and Rush
  • Region II – Southwest: Greeley, Wichita, Scott, Lane, Hamilton, Kearney, Finney, Hodgeman, Gray, Ford, Stanton, Grant, Haskell, Meade, Clark, Morton, Stevens, and Seward
  • Region III – North Central: Smith, Jewell, Republic, Osborne, Mitchell, Cloud, Clay, Ottawa, Lincoln, Dickinson, Saline, and Ellsworth
  • Region IV – Southeast: Greenwood, Woodson, Allen, Bourbon, Elk, Wilson, Neosho, Crawford, Chautauqua, Montgomery, Labette, and Cherokee

“Expanding our efforts to address the substance abuse crisis through access to treatment, training and other proven tools and resources is a priority for our agency,” KDADS Behavioral Health Services Commissioner Andy Brown said. “This funding will help us identify partners across the state who can connect recovery services and resources to rural communities to meet the needs of Kansans.”

Kelly said first responder agencies can find more information - including application forms and submission instructions for the grant - click HERE.