Kalispell to use $8 million in gifts for EMS equipment and training
Kalispell-based Logan Health announced Tuesday that it will in part use $8 million in donations to provide equipment and training to ambulance services in western Montana.
The former owner of the San Francisco 49ers, Eddie DeBartolo Jr., owns a home near Kalispell and donated the funds to Logan Health over the years.
DeBartolo was convicted for bribing a former Louisiana governor for a gambling license and was pardoned by former President Donald Trump.
In a press release, the hospital system said the funds will be used to bolster communication between EMS agencies in western Montana and host annual conferences. Funding will also help provide agencies with equipment and training.
Those grants could be a big help. According to the National Rural Health Association, up to a third of EMS agencies across the country are at risk of folding due to staffing and financial constraints. Many struggle to keep their equipment up to date.
Logan Health says the Amtrak derailment last fall was in part the catalyst for forming what it calls an EMS consortium. The crash along the Hi-Line, which killed three people and injured dozens more, required ambulance services from Great Falls to Kalispell to respond.