COVID-19 Funding Options for EMS and Fire Agencies
From the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to state grants, EMS and fire agencies have access to a plethora of resources to keep their personnel employed and recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19, but these resources can be overwhelming to unpack.
For instance, within the $150 billion CARES Act:
- $45.4 billion will be allocated to the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund, including $400 million in grants for firefighters, emergency personnel, and emergency food programs
- $1.5 billion will be provided for CDC State and Local Preparedness grants
- Numerous SBA loans will be available for small agencies of fewer than 500 employees
- $425 million has been given for HHS SAMHSA funding for behavioral health clinics and emergency grants
- $200 million has been allocated for Federal Communications Commission telehealth program grants
What are the best options for your agency? Here’s a quick guide of some of the grants, loans, and programs that can benefit emergency agencies during this pandemic:
FEMA Public Assistance Grants
FEMA’s Public Assistance Program helps local communities recover after major emergencies or disasters, such as COVID-19. According to FEMA.gov, these supplemental grants are awarded to state, tribal, territorial, and local governments as well as certain types of private non-profits. To learn more or apply visit FEMA.gov.
Public Health and Social Service Emergency Fund
Under the CARES Act, $100 billion in relief funds will be distributed to hospitals and other providers on the front lines of the COVID-19 response, according to HHS.gov. If your department has lost revenue or gained healthcare-related expenses due to COVID-19, these payments can help you and your providers.
You may be eligible for the provider relief fund if:
- Your agency received Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) reimbursements in 2019
- Your agency ceased operation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and you provided diagnoses, testing, or care for individuals with possible or actual cases of COVID-19
To learn more about your eligibility visit HHS.gov.
New local and national grants, programs, and loans are emerging daily as states and communities work to combat COVID-19 and mitigate its economic impact. Visit your state’s website as well as websites for local and statewide emergency organizations to find the latest resources and information.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
The Paycheck Protection Program provides loans for small businesses that incentivizes employers to keep their personnel on their payroll.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) will forgive these loans if the money is used for payroll, utilities, rent, or mortgage interest and all agency employees are kept on the payroll for 8 weeks. Learn more at SBA.gov.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan
Small businesses (those with 500 employees or less) and private non-profit organizations or veterans organizations can also apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. Learn more at SBA.gov.
Employer Payroll Tax Deferral
The CARES Act allows employers to defer the deposit and payment of the employer’s share of social security taxes. However, this deferral cannot be combined with a PPP loan. Learn more at IRS.gov.
Where to Start
No matter what resources your department uses to battle through COVID-19, be sure you are tracking all coronavirus-related costs carefully. Gather all relevant financial documents and records because these will be crucial in applying for and reporting on any funds you receive.
Many of the resources available require proof that funds were allocated toward retaining employees or improving quality of care in your community. This includes providing new training aimed at curbing the current COVID-19 pandemic or improving infection control and patient outcomes in the future.
How CareerCert Can Help
During this chaotic time, we know it can be difficult to disseminate new protocols and create quality training for your entire team from scratch. Let us help. CareerCert has over 320 hours of industry-leading online training designed to help your team improve outcomes. In addition, you can easily create and disseminate department-specific protocols, videos, training, slides, or more using our platform that your team can access anytime, anywhere, and on any device.
With CareerCert, you’ll have access to training from industry experts and can easily keep your team on the same page without the risk of bringing everyone together. Our intuitive platform will allow you to track all your team’s training and compliance in one place and access reports with the click of a button.
If you have any questions, our team would love to help. Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can know how to best support your department. We’re here to help keep your team safe and prepared to best protect your community.