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Kalispell hospital gets $8 million for EMS equipment and training

 An ambulance in front of Kalispell Regional Medical Center.
Eric Whitney
Montana Public Radio/File photo
An ambulance in front of Kalispell Regional Medical Center.

Kalispell-based Logan Health announced Tuesday that it will use an $8 million donation 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. 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.

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.
Copyright 2022 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

Aaron is Montana Public Radio's Flathead reporter.