HARRISBURG – Recognizing the importance of duties performed by volunteer emergency responders across the state, Rep. Doyle Heffley (R-Carbon) is pleased to announce that nearly 30 Carbon County volunteer fire companies and ambulance services were among the 2,529 Pennsylvania emergency response units that were awarded state money under the 2011-12 Volunteer Fire Company and Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program.

"These grants will go a long way at helping volunteer emergency responders maintain state-of-the-art equipment and provide important training programs to keep Carbon County and all Pennsylvania communities safe," said Heffley.

More than $280,000 in grant money was awarded to more than two dozen Carbon County response units through the program for projects including firefighter training and equipment, firefighter wellness and fitness and modifications to fire stations and facilities.

The program also provides funding to Emergency Medical Service (EMS) organizations, including non-affiliated EMS entities, if they are public or non-profit in status. Funding for the program is distributed from the State Gaming Fund.

The grant recipients from Carbon County are:

Ÿ Albrightsville Volunteer Fire Co.

Ÿ American Fire Co. No. 1, Lansford.

Ÿ Aquashicola Volunteer Fire Co.

Ÿ Beaver Meadows Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1

Ÿ Bowmanstown Volunteer Fire Co.

Ÿ Diligent Fire Co. No. 3, Jim Thorpe.

Ÿ East Penn Township Volunteer Fire Co.

Ÿ Fairview Hose Co. No. 2, Jim Thorpe.

Ÿ Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Co. No.1

Ÿ Greater Weatherly Area Ambulance Association Inc.

Ÿ Hauto Volunteer Fire Co.

Ÿ Kidder Township Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1

Ÿ Lake Harmony Rescue Squad Ambulance Corps

Ÿ Lake Harmony Volunteer Fire Co. Inc.

Ÿ Lehigh and Lausanne Volunteer Fire and Rescue Co.

Ÿ Lehighton Ambulance Association

Ÿ Lehighton Fire Department

Ÿ Mahoning Valley Ambulance Association Inc.

Ÿ Mahoning Valley Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 Inc.

Ÿ Nesquehoning Ambulance Corps

Ÿ Nesquehoning Hose Co. No. 1

Ÿ New Columbus Fire Co. Inc.

Ÿ Parryville Volunteer Fire Co. No. 2 Inc.,

Ÿ Penn Forest Township Volunteer Fire Co. No. 2

Ÿ Penn Forest Township Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1

Ÿ Phoenix Hose Co., Jim Thorpe.

Ÿ Towamensing Township Volunteer Fire Co.

Ÿ West End Fire Co. No. 2, Palmerton

"I want to thank each of the volunteer emergency response units for the brave work they do throughout the local area," said Heffley.

State senators who represent portions of Carbon County also expressed gratitude for receiving grants to fund local volunteer fire and ambulance companies.

"These grants are a great resource for our local volunteer fire and ambulance organizations providing valuable financial assistance for critical emergency services. The volunteers are commended for the work they do every day and the sacrifices they make to serve our communities," said state Sen. John Yudichak (D-14).

Similarly, state Sen. David G. Argall (R-29) said local volunteer fire companies alone save the taxpayers between $3 to $6 billion each year.

"These grants go a long way to support these brave men and women serving our local communities," said Argall.