How EMS volunteers heal a community

Paying it Forward

Pam was instantly amazed by how immediate the volunteers came to her rescue. 

“Though I called 911, the Ashland Agency volunteers were first on the scene to help me, in just two minutes, before the EMS and Air Evac arrived,” Martin recalls. “I am very grateful that my neighbors are trained and volunteering.”

A desire to thank them by giving back led Pam to discover the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program, where she learned she could help fund her local EMS crew via the Passavant Area Hospital Foundation.

Located in nearby Jacksonville, the Passavant Area Hospital Foundation was able to direct funds to the Ashland EMS organization and others in need in order to advance medical care as a community effort. A portion of Pam’s grant will go toward area EMS crews, who partner with 10 volunteer agencies that are part of their emergency services network. 

Looking Out for One Another

One of Passavant’s greatest needs is improving the capacity of volunteers — through training and licensure. Because the classes require a fee, and the communities prefer not to ask volunteers to pay $400 to 500 to go to a class, a donation from Bayer Fund was a great help. The donation helps fund the important training frees and allows more individuals to attend class and in turn volunteer at the area EMS agencies. 




“Being able to provide funding for education is important for the sustainability of rural EMS services,” said Dr. Scott Boston, emergency medicine physician, president and CEO of Passavant Area Hospital. “Many rural EMS agencies are volunteer-driven and have limited budgets that often cannot afford to fund education and that burden is then carried by the individual volunteers. We have to run a very tight budget, so any donation is greatly appreciated.”

Thanks to Pam’s decision to seek out an America’s Farmers grant with a simple enrollment online, her rural community can feel a little safer knowing that if an accident occurs, a trained EMS worker is close by. 

“On the EMS squads, there are many farmers volunteering their time, it was a natural fit for me to direct the money for this use. I know how important it is to our local communities,” said Martin. “It’s critical to get immediate medical assistance when you live out in the country. And it all starts with the first responder and getting that initial help.”

For more than a decade, farmers have been able to make a difference in their rural communities through a Grow Communities grant from America’s Farmers. Whether you’d like to help grow your town’s little league program or want to modernize the fire department, your impact on community initiatives is invaluable. And it all starts with a simple nomination. Enroll anytime until November 1.