News & Events

April 19, 2021

Volunteer Emergency Services the Focus of $50,000 in Funding from PHF

Available to all Copper Country volunteer emergency services units – deadline May 21, 2021

Portage Health Foundation (PHF) is proud to announce a new grant opportunity for volunteer emergency services providers, such as fire departments and first responders, located in and serving Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw or Ontonagon counties. PHF has made $50,000 available with up to $5,000 available per grant with a 50 percent match requirement.

EMS at Portage Health Foundation Brainstorming“Over the last 14 months we’ve worked to prioritize our support for these critically important volunteer organizations that keep our community safe when the worst is happening,” said Kevin Store, Executive Director of Portage Health Foundation. “In that time, we’ve learned a lot and worked with some committed people. We hope that our initial funding will help spur ongoing conversation and demonstrate our commitment to this conversation and area of community need.”

In March of 2020 about 40 first responders from across the foundation’s four-county community joined PHF staff and board for a brainstorming meeting. Unfortunately, work on this cause was paused because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In February of this year the conversation started again with leadership from all area departments invited to a meeting.

“Conversations have been honest, candid and extremely helpful as we worked to get a better understanding of the dynamics at play,” Store said. “We are grateful to everyone who has helped us reach this point, and we’re excited to see where this conversation goes moving forward.”

The foundation has budgeted $50,000 to successful proposals under this round of funding. There is no minimum grant amount and the maximum amount awarded per grant under this RFP will be $5,000. To be considered for an emergency services grant, a proposal must have the organization paying 50 percent of the costs (up to the allocation amount), the department must be registered with the State Fire Marshall’s office, be current with all reporting, identify why the request for funding is needed and how it will enhance access to services, programs or activities that otherwise would not be possible.

Learn more about the granting process at Portage Health Foundation and start your application by visiting

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