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$3.2 Million in Grants Available to Aid Rural First Responders Combatting Opioid Abuse

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TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today announced $3.2 million in grants that will be used to assist rural first responders combatting opioid abuse. The grants will fund training regarding carrying and administering approved medication for emergency reversal of opioid overdose.

“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 Laura Kelly said. “This funding will be instrumental in helping struggling Kansans access appropriate treatment and recovery support services.”

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) First Responder-Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act (FR-CARA) grants, administered by the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS), are open for application by rural first responder agencies and members of other key community sectors at the state, tribal, and local levels.

“Far too many Kansans have lost loved ones, and far too many communities have experienced heartbreak at the hands of the opioid epidemic. This grant will help train our first responders to save lives and educate our neighbors about this issue, particularly in rural communities,” said Representative Sharice Davids (KS-03). “I’m glad to support these federal grants and to support Governor Kelly in ensuring this crisis is addressed in every corner of our state.”

“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 has selected four rural regions of the state that encompass 53 counties for implementing 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 additional information, including application forms and submission instructions, for the grant funding here.

Applications are due to KDADS by September 15, 2022.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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