Three Rivers Ambulance receives $129,000 grant for new vehicle

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MILO — U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine, a founding member of the Congressional Rural Hospitals Caucus and the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force, has announced a grant to benefit several towns in the eastern Piscataquis County area served by Three Rivers Ambulance as part of the ongoing effort to combat the opioid epidemic.

The grant is from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Agency. The $129,000 federal grant, along with $43,777 from Three Rivers Ambulance Services, will be used to purchase a new ambulance to replace an outdated vehicle. According to data from Maine Emergency Medical Services, opioid overdose emergency calls increased by more than 80 percent from 2014 to 2017.

“Our emergency responders put their lives on the line every day to perform their duties and we must make sure they have the reliable and functional equipment to do their jobs,” Poliquin said. “Ambulances are especially important for a highly rural state like Maine, where the nearest hospital or treatment center could be hours away. I am glad Mainers in Piscataquis County will have greater access to healthcare and one more tool to combat the opioid epidemic.”

Funding for the program was included in the March government spending bill. Poliquin worked across the aisle to increase resources to help rural communities fight this epidemic. Poliquin has worked with USDA Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett, state lawmakers, medical professionals, law enforcement personnel and community leaders to discuss how they all can come together to fight the opioid crisis in rural Maine.

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