As part of the 2010-2011 Volunteer Fire Company and Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program, 32 area volunteer fire companies and emergency medical services (EMS) providers have been awarded grants totaling $316,854, which have been approved to help them with operational expenses, according to Rep. Doyle Heffley (R-Carbon).

"This program provides vital funding to volunteer fire and EMS providers, but represents just a fraction of their annual expenses," Heffley said. "The fine work that volunteer fire and emergency responders do is irreplaceable, and essential in protecting the people of Carbon County, but the average cost of a pumper truck is well over $100,000, so every dollar in grants or donations is critical to keeping our volunteer fire and EMS companies in operation."

The grants come from a$25 millionaccount specifically dedicated to providing supplemental funding for volunteer fire and EMS companies.

"I want to remind companies eligible to receive this funding to make sure their applications are filled out completely and submitted in a timely fashion to ensure this funding is received," said Heffley.

For more information about the grant program, go to OSFC.state.pa.us.