First responders
First responders are those who are usually the first to arrive at an emergency or accident scene. These include police, medical and fire department personnel. The offices which coordinate emergency management services, local health departments and public hospitals are also crucial elements of emergency preparation and response. The first responders in many of our rural areas are volunteers. Their departments usually receive some federal assistance for training and equipment but most funding is provided locally. First responders often transport accident victims to hospitals that are also locally owned and operated. Health advocates claim most rural communities barely have enough resources to provide adequate healthcare for the populations they serve. Most would be incapable of providing much assistance to victims of a large-scale disaster or terrorist attack. Advocates say that it is doubtful the additional resources needed by these communities will be provided by state governments, whose budgets are still overburdened by the economy. These advocates claim our federal government is the most effective entity to protect states from disasters and terrorism.

Pending Legislation:
Senate version of H.R.361 - Medical Preparedness Allowable Use Act (passed House 2/2/15)
S.609 - Volunteer Responder Incentive Protection Act of 2015

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Poll Opening Date
March 26, 2020
Poll Closing Date
April 1, 2020

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