Last month, the State Offices of Rural Health and NOSORH were represented by Matt Strycker, NOSORH Program Manager, at the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO) Regional Meeting in Denver, Colorado. Strycker spoke on a panel with Ron Seedorf, Emergency Preparedness Manager at the Colorado Rural Health Center, about the work of SORHs and NOSORH, and how State Offices are leading the charge through the EMS Flex Supplemental funds they received.

With EMS officials and those on the ground taking the lead on the opioid crisis, representation at this meeting was quite timely. The session “A Rural EMS Story”, presented by Chris Beltz of Campbell County EMS in Wyoming, detailed how a failing EMS provider partnered with the Wyoming State Office of Rural Health and the Wyoming Office of Emergency Medical Services to do an assessment of Campbell County EMS. They set out key areas for improvement; personnel issues, overtime problems, building a partnership with their hospital, etc. They were able to go from losing money to making their hospital and Campbell County EMS almost one million dollars. This real-life success story highlighted the importance of building partnerships between EMS providers and the State Offices of Rural Health.

Input on an EMS Addendum to the Rural Hospital Closure Toolkit was collected at the meeting. This addendum will include information and resources on what EMS providers can do if their hospital has closed or if there is a threat of a hospital closure. If you have any information that you may be able to provide on the addendum, please contact Matt Strycker at or at 1-888-391-7258 ext. 102.

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