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NH Delegation Announces New Federal Grant Funding to Support Franklin First Responders on Front Lines of Opioid Epidemic

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representative Annie Kuster (NH-02) announced that the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development agency has awarded $48,600 in federal funding to the city of Franklin. The funding will be used to purchase a new ambulance, allowing the city to more adequately respond to medical emergencies, including substance misuse, in what is a hard-hit area in the opioid epidemic. The fire department has two ambulances, with one currently out of service, significantly reducing the city’s emergency response capability.

“For those suffering from a drug overdose, receiving timely medical attention can be the difference between life and death,” said Senator Shaheen. “These federal dollars are an important investment that will help relieve the heavy burden on Franklin first responders so that they can better serve the city and surrounding region. The USDA Community Facilities Direct Loans and Grants program provides critical investments in our rural communities to combat the drug epidemic, which is why I have fought for additional funding for this program as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.  I’ll keep fighting to ensure our communities throughout New Hampshire have the resources they need to combat this crisis.”

“I sat down with first responders in Franklin earlier this year and heard from them about the challenges they face in their efforts to address substance misuse,” Senator Hassan said. “This grant will fund a much-needed new ambulance so they can respond as quickly as possible to overdoses and other emergencies. These first responders do heroic work saving lives and supporting the community, and I’m very glad that they’ll receive federal support to further improve their critical efforts.”

“For communities facing the challenges posed by the opioid epidemic, having a sufficient number of fully functioning ambulances is critical to saving lives,” said Kuster. “This funding will help ensure that Franklin’s first responders are equipped to help those who are dealing with a variety of medical emergencies, including opioid overdoses. I’ll continue advocating for increased funding to provide Granite State communities with the resources they need.”

During her time in the Senate, Shaheen has fought to ensure that Granite State communities have the resources they need to battle the substance use disorder epidemic. In 2018, Shaheen supported the passage of the SIREN Act, which provided more grants to rural emergency response providers on the front lines of the opioid crisis. Shaheen also helped negotiate the bipartisan agreement in 2018 that outlined the two years of opioid response spending – totaling $6 billion to respond to the opioid crisis. This included the set-aside funding for states with the highest mortality rates, like New Hampshire. This critical additional funding, which Shaheen helped broker, has been included by Congress over the last two fiscal years. As a result of the Delegation’s efforts, New Hampshire received a more than ten-fold increase in opioid treatment funding through the State Opioid Response (SOR) Grant program.