Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Free Naloxone Kits

The Minnesota Overdose Response Strategy (ORS) Team and the Minnesota Department of Public Health are working together to offer free naloxone kits and training to first responders in Minnesota. The ORS is a joint initiative with the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) and the CDC Foundation. 

The initiative is designed to enhance public health-public safety collaboration with the goal of reducing both fatal and non-fatal overdoses by improving information-sharing across agencies and supporting evidence-based interventions. 

Overdoses are increasing with fentanyl, and the constant evolution of fentanyl analogues (that may require multiple doses of naloxone to reverse) are also becoming more and more common. Now it is even more important for first responders to carry lifesaving naloxone for overdose victims and first responder safety. 

As a reminder, if you are a law enforcement, emergency medical services, or other type of first responder, please consider using the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program (ODMAP) to report overdoses. Agency access can be requested through the program’s website if needed. Also, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) asks that anyone who administers naloxone in the state fill out the anonymous reporting form at the Naloxone Reporting Tool. Data submitted through this form will be used by MDH to better understand how naloxone is used in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Department of Health has partnered with the eight EMS regional directors to provide naloxone/narcan and naloxone education and training at no cost to first responders throughout the state of Minnesota. It is as simple as submitting your invoice for purchased naloxone to your EMS regional director or contacting the EMS regional director to purchase the naloxone for you. (You can get the contact information for your area’s EMS director here. Source: Minnesota Department of Public Health)

Cody Bassett, the naloxone coordinator with the Minnesota Department of Health, works with the EMS regional directors on naloxone distribution. If you or the first responders in your community need naloxone kits, education, training, or have any questions, you can either contact Cody at or (651) 201-4244, or the EMS regional director in your service area. 

You may also contact me at or give me a call at (651) 215-4051 if you have any questions.

Remember: Responder Safety = Public Safety

Up next: National Use-of-Force Data Collection

In the meantime, stay safe and be careful -

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

DNR Volunteer Fire Assistance Grants

A guest post by LMCIT Public Safety Specialist Troy Walsh

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has announced grants available to assist volunteer fire departments. The Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant Program features 50:50 matching grants. It provides financial and technical assistance to Minnesota fire departments that protect cities or communities with a population under 10,000.

Priority is given to fire departments that have the greatest need and participate in a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP), or a county all-hazard mitigation plan. Additional considerations include the type of project, fire runs, and number of previous years funded. Examples of acceptable projects include reorganizing an inactive fire department, converting federal excess property vehicles to fire control rigs, communications equipment (warning systems, pagers, radios, etc.), personal safety equipment, fire equipment, and rural water storage systems.

Guest blogger Troy Walsh
Applications will be accepted until June 1, 2021. For full details about the program — including eligibility requirements, acceptable project examples, grant application form, and how to apply — please see this information from the DNR

If you have any questions regarding this grant, you may contact Troy via email at or by phone at (651) 281-1231. 

Remember: Responder Safety = Public Safety

Up next: Free Naloxone Kits 

In the meantime, stay safe and be careful -

Monday, April 5, 2021

Request for Proposals: Pohlad Family Foundation Reimagining Public Safety Program

In an effort to address police reform and the ever-growing need to support public safety initiatives that re-imagine and pivot toward new, sustainable approaches across the country, the Pohlad Family Foundation has announced a new funding opportunity: “Reducing Harm Through Collaborative Solutions.”

The Pohlad Family Foundation is partnering with the National League of Cities (NLC) to offer a Request for Proposals (RFP). Applications are open now and must be submitted by May 14, 2021. This opportunity provides grant funding and tailored technical assistance to tribal, city, and county governments in the seven-county Twin Cities area that are working to improve public safety and wellbeing for Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) communities.

Funding is offered as part of the Foundation’s Reimagining Public Safety program in order to achieve three goals:

  1. Innovate and transform traditional approaches to public safety;
  2. Reduce the occurrence and severity of negative encounters between law enforcement and the community; and
  3. Actively confront racial disparities and history of racism to improve safety, trust, and greater wellbeing for BIPOC communities.

The Collaborative Solutions RFP is informed by the State of Minnesota Working Group on Police-Involved Deadly Force Encounters, convened by Attorney General Keith Ellison and Commissioner of Public Safety John Harrington in 2019. The funding opportunity will help implement the recommendations of the Working Group at a city and county level while enabling these communities to expand efforts toward broader and more equitable public safety. 

Proposals are welcome that would establish racial equity efforts and community partnerships, as well as those that are scaling up efforts. Priority will be given to proposals that demonstrate a long-term commitment to racial justice in public safety through collaborative solutions with community partners.

Please visit for complete information about the RFP, including eligibility and criteria. You may contact Program Director Brian Paulson at with questions specific to the RFP.

You may also contact me at or (651) 215-4051 for additional information, including proposal criteria and guidance on how to apply.

Remember:  Responder Safety = Public Safety

Up next: DNR Volunteer Fire Assistance Grants

In the meantime, stay safe and be careful -