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Rural Health Officials Call For Donations To Fund HERO Program

Oregon EMS Association website

As the end of the calendar year nears, people are making donations to their favorite charities and causes. Among those hoping for generous support is a statewide service that uses volunteers for emergency response services in rural areas.

The HERO program is run by the Oregon Department of Rural Health. Deputy Director Bob Duehmig says many volunteers are on call 24-7, year-round.  He adds for many residents beyond the big cities, this can make a difference.

“One thing that people in the Valley in particular forget about sometimes, y’know if we call 911 in Portland or Eugene or Salem or Bend, we can get an ambulance pretty quickly," Duehmig says. 

"But in a lot of these rural communities, it may take a lot of time.  It can be quite a distance.”

Since 2010, more than $212,000 in grants have been awarded.  The money goes to individuals or EMS agencies to cover training costs.

Copyright 2017, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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