North Florida's Emergency Management System

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The Florida Department of Health awarded several grants totaling more than $1 million to several north Florida counties. Madison County EMS is one of those counties, and officials there say the grant has been a tremendous help to them.

In an emergency every second is crucial, and getting to the scene in a timely manner is a matter of life and death. Madison emergency personnel say the county has two old ambulances that are not in ideal condition.

John Smith, a paramedic in Madison County, says, "Equipment is like everything else, it just breaks down with usage and with new updated equipment, it helps us keep with the ability to provide the best care we can."

Madison was awarded more than $75,000 to help remount two ambulances and purchase portable radios and emergency equipment.

Juan Botino, Director of Madison County EMS, says, "The grant program from the Bureau of EMS has been a blessing to us. We have purchased about eight ambulances using the EMS grant fund. We've got the latest equipment, which will help them medically and it will just improve overall patient care.”
Thanks to the grant, patient care will be improved and enhanced, saving countless lives in the rural area.

More than 20 counties were awarded the funds, which will be used for an array of items including the purchase of new equipment to personnel training. Funding from the grant is compiled from traffic tickets written in those counties.