In this paper, we explore the feasibility of using Mobile Ad-hoc Networks (MANETs) for rural public safety. First, we discuss a QoS enhancement to a standard routing protocol, Dynamic Source Routing (DSR). By incorporating a new routing metric and the available bandwidth and delay estimation algorithms with DSR, we design a new routing protocol, QoS-Aware Source Routing (QASR), to meet the QoS requirements specified by Statement of Requirements (SoR) for public safety communications. We then evaluate the performance of QASR and the well-known standard routing protocols including Ad-hoc On-demand Distance Vector (AODV) and DSR based on real public safety scenarios using the OPNET modeler at the 4.9GHz public safety spectrum band. Simulation results show that QASR significantly outperforms DSR and AODV in terms of various performance metrics.