WASHINGTON, D.C – The University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) has been awarded a $2.0 million federal grant to carry out a demonstration project to improve emergency medical communications, U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today reported.
UMMC will use the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grant for a Rural Emergency Medical Communications Demonstration Project to enhance emergency communications and response capabilities. The goal is to aid in the development of a National Emergency Communications Plan by coordinating the use of existing technologies to improve first responder capabilities, particularly among those with limited medical training.
“Improving the coordination of medical and emergency communications can help save lives, and not just during disaster situations. This grant will help develop available capabilities to increase medical care options in rural areas, and be used to develop best practices nationwide,” Cochran said. “I believe Mississippi and UMMC are well suited to perform this project.”
This demonstration project will involve leveraging the Mississippi Wireless Information Network (MSWIN) technologies and existing infrastructures to sustain statewide medical communications systems and improve rural medical care delivery. This project will target the 30,000 users on the MSWIN Land Mobile Radio System and work to improve the use of the existing radio system.
The demonstration project is funded with FY2016 discretionary funding. Congress last year directed the DHS Office of Emergency Communications to undertake the initiative and provided $2.0 million to carry it out.
Cochran is chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and serves on the subcommittee with funding jurisdiction over the Department of Homeland Security.