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.
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