WATSEKA, Ill. (WCIA) — An Iroquois County medical facility was granted an award Wednesday to fund emergency medical services (EMS) education programs.

According to a press release from Iroquois Memorial Hospital (IMH), their facility was one of 15 recipients that received funding from the Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network (ICAHN) EMS education award.

“The EMS Education Award is available to all Illinois Critical Access hospitals,” the release stated. “The intent of this award is to provide funding for hospital EMS to conduct local EMS education programs and assist local units with updates on billing practices or leadership development, including EMS Needs Assessment.”

In order to qualify, recipients had to submit a detailed application form elaborating on how the award would be used. IMH chose to put the cash award towards cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training materials, such as manikins. The training equipment will provide students with real-time, audio-visual corrective feedback on aspects like chest compression rate, depth, and recoil, the release added.

“This equipment will help all students attending courses better understand what they are actually trying to accomplish when being taught CPR, and with better understanding of CPR, there will be better outcomes in a real life event,” the release stated. “We will be able to sustain this training by continually offering it to EMS, hospital staff, and community classes.”

IMS stated in the release they teach at least three CPR courses, and that CPR certifications have to be renewed every two years.

“I would like to thank ICAHN for the grant to obtain the Emergency Medical Training Equipment,” said Employee Health and Education Nurse Anne Romadka. “Approximately 70 percent of IMH employees are certified by the American Heart Association to perform Basic Life Support (CPR). The new training equipment allows these employees to practice their hands on resuscitation skills.”