Congress Budgets $36 Million to Train First Responders on Opioid Response

Published October 3, 2018
By Mark Ames

​Congress has budgeted $36 million for first responder training under the State Opioid Response Grants program (PDF). The funding includes $18 million to ensure that the needs of rural areas are not overlooked or diminished.

Protecting first responders and all workers from occupational exposure to opioids has been a major area of focus for AIHA. The final package, including the funding for training of first responders, is expected to be signed into law by President Trump in the coming days.

These funds can be used for training; purchasing naloxone, a drug that reverses opioid overdoses; and related activities that AIHA members are equipped to assist with. Specific activities will be determined by the individual states that apply for grants; their applications must explain how they propose to use funds they may be awarded. This means that the specific ways in which AIHA members will be affected may differ across the states. AIHA encourages its members to monitor grant opportunities, should they wish to pursue one, while keeping in mind that these are grants to states, not individuals or organizations.

Mark Ames is AIHA’s director of Government Relations.