By Mike Kruzman /

Livingston County officials have authorized the EMS Department to apply for a grant that could resuscitate a program that was suspended a couple years ago.

The EMS Department is seeking a St. Joseph Mercy Livingston Community Assistance Grant for a community paramedic program. The County previously had a program, but suspended it in 2019 due to financial constraints. A community paramedic works with hospitals, physicians, and social services to connect with residents who may need help in their own homes, with a hope for keeping them from going to, or returning to, the hospital.

Livingston County EMS Deputy Director Amy Chapman previously told a County Committee that when they ran the program before, it was essentially a free service, which led to their struggles in maintaining it. She said that programs like this are now becoming more known by insurance companies and that there are ways to partner with hospitals and physicians to get reimbursement. The intent of the grant would be to re-implement the program, which Chapman says will take a lot of planning, along with needing a community paramedic on board.

The maximum award for the grant is $76,000. The Board of Commissioners, at their meeting this week, unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the application of the grant.