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EMS Grants Help
by Janet Smith

Agencies passionate about giving are the real winners

The AFG application process demonstrated that true rewards go beyond funding

By Janet Smith

I am taking a big sigh of relief after the AFG grant application processes we’ve all been involved with at EMS Grants Help this month. Sarah Wilson, Betsy Snowden, Audra Thomas, Allie Day and Liz Finkle were poised and ready pros who gave it their all right up until the closing bell.  As one of many grant writers immersed in the process, I couldn’t help but be impressed with how well projects were nudged, tracked, revised, and submitted. There were a lot of needs and wants declared throughout the process, but this quick note is more about the intangible rewards of giving. 

This year, the AFG application process occurred for many fire departments and EMS agencies during the first days of a long cold snap that started in early December.  One of the fire chiefs we had to track down for application information talked with us over his cell phone as he stood outside in freezing wind, sweeping melted snow out of the ambulance bays. The cement floor had settled causing the melting snow and ice to pool up against the garage walls. (Fixing that mess wasn’t even on his AFG wish list). It was all in a day’s work to him.

Another EMS chief who served as a member of an all-female crew talked with obvious pride about the 25 years she and her two colleagues had been working in their very rural service area taking care of friends and neighbors.

These and other grant seekers made great arguments for new ambulances, training manikins, AEDs, oxygen equipment, CPAP devices and more. Although every application represented an “ask,” those asks came from a place of gratitude, reward and a sincere desire to continue the work.

It turns out that people who are passionate about what they do every day in EMS  have a wish list a mile long. That passion seems to be fueled by how they feel when they have done their duty, made good on their promise to serve or made a life-saving difference for those who needed help. Really helping people feels good; it’s a gain, a plus, a powerful unquantifiable benefit. After talking with one EMS chief after another, the unspoken emotional rewards of doing the good work of EMS came through loud and clear.

I wish everyone the best of luck in being funded. It was a pleasure to assist. Happy Holidays!

About the author

Janet Smith's track record for business development in the medical marketplace spans over 20 years. Since 1990 as the owner and president of Janet Smith & Associates- On Assignment, an EMS consultancy, Janet Smith has consulted for scores of public, private and primary EMS services, winning business for clients through strategic business planning, public affairs campaigns, grant applications and proposal writing. Most recently, Janet authored and submitted a federal grant for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation Center's health care innovation challenge. She is also the author of numerous winning RFP responses for 9-1-1 ambulance contracts. Most recently, authoring the winning ambulance procurement proposal for North Star EMS in the City of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Janet Smith is also a distinguished speaker regarding EMS and health care related issues. She recently presented at EMS Today conference in Baltimore (2012) and at the 2011 Pinnacle conference in San Diego.Janet Smith is a recipient of the President's Award from the American Ambulance Association.

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