PRIEST RIVER — Priest Lake EMTs, Inc. members recently gathered to celebrate all the group has accomplished at the group’s recent annual dinner.
Not only are four new EMTs undergoing training that will bring them on board the dedicated group of first-responders, they also received a $40,000 grant from the Idaho State Health and Welfare Dedicated Grant to purchase a pair of power-gurney loading systems as well as a $20,000 grant from Priest Lake People Helping People, which allowed thm to purchase nitrous oxide equipment as well as new portable radios.
Health & Welfare’s Dedicated Grant program provides funds collected from driver’s license fees to purchase Emergency Medical Service vehicles and patient care equipment for EMS agencies in Idaho, according to the agency’s website. Many of the state’s EMS agencies are funded through donations while some receive a small amount of funding through tax revenue.
The grant program allows EMS agencies to purchase vehicles and patient care equipment that they may never be able to otherwise afford.
In Priest Lake EMTs case, the group used the grant to buy the power-gurney loading systems whichse load the gurney directly into the ambulance, which takes a lot of weight/pressure off the backs of EMTs and drivers.
The Priest Lake People Helping People grant, which allowed Priest Lake EMTs, Inc. to purchase nitrous oxide equipment, which helps EMTS address patient pain control, as well as purchase the radios.
According to PLPHP’s website, the auction which raises funds for the community’s nonprofits got its start after Amy and Bob Adams moved to Priest Lake in 1992. “Despite naysayers and skeptics, Amy got on the phone and cajoled a few friends into donating items and trips to support her vision of a grand auction, one she hoped to net $10,000 for the nonprofits of Priest Lake,” the website notes.
The first auction in 1994 raised $12,000 as about 50 people had a great time and bid on the donated items.
Today, Adams’s vision kicks off the Priest Lake summer season and hundreds now attend the silent and live auction which packs Elkins Resort on Priest Lake.
“We would be very challenged to purchase these items without help from our very generous community members, and groups such as People Helping People and the Lions Club,” Lani Meek, officer manager of Priest Lake EMTS, Inc., said in an email to the Daily Bee.
The EMT course should be completed by the end of the month, bringing four new EMTs to the organization. Once students complete the course, they will need to test through the state and national registry to become licensed EMTs.