TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) — On Tuesday, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly announced that $3.2 million in grants will be used to help rural first responders combat opioid abuse.

These grants will go to fund training for “carrying and administering approved medication for emergency reversal of opioid overdose.” They are open for application by rural first responder agencies and members as well as other key community sectors at the state, tribal, and local levels.

“The opioid crisis impacts families across Kansas, which is why it’s crucial that our first responders have the support and training they need to save lives and bring relief to our communities,” Governor Kelly said. “This funding will be instrumental in helping struggling Kansans access appropriate treatment and recovery support services.”

These grants are provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) First Responder-Comprehensive Addition and Recover Act (FR-CARA), and administered by the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS).

“Expanding our efforts to address the substance abuse crisis through access to treatment, training and other proven tools and resources is a priority for our agency,” KDADS Behavioral Health Services Commissioner Andy Brown said. “This funding will help us identify partners across the state who can connect recovery services and resources to rural communities to meet the needs of Kansans.”

KDADS selected four rural regions to implement this project based on the Kansas Board of Emergency Medical Services map. These regions include:

  • Region I — Northwest: Cheyenne, Rawlins, Decatur, Norton, Phillips, Sherman, Thomas, Sheridan, Graham, Rooks, Wallace, Logan, Gove, Trego, Ellis, Russell, Ness, and Rush 
  • Region II — Southwest: Greeley, Wichita, Scott, Lane, Hamilton, Kearney, Finney, Hodgeman, Gray, Ford, Stanton, Grant, Haskell, Meade, Clark, Morton, Stevens, and Seward 
  • Region III — North Central: Smith, Jewell, Republic, Osborne, Mitchell, Cloud, Clay, Ottawa, Lincoln, Dickinson, Saline, and Ellsworth 
  • Region IV — Southeast: Greenwood, Woodson, Allen, Bourbon, Elk, Wilson, Neosho, Crawford, Chautauqua, Montgomery, Labette, and Cherokee 

First responder agencies can find more information here.

Applications are due to KDADS by Sept. 15.