State Senator David G. Argall (R-29) is encouraging local fire companies and emergency service providers to apply for the Volunteer Fire Company and Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program.

The Volunteer Fire Company and Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program offers funding for the purchase or repair of firefighting or rescue equipment, construction or renovation costs for facilities, training or debt reduction.

"Too often we take the services of our firefighters and emergency services personnel for granted until disaster strikes, but these dedicated individuals provide an essential service for which we should all be very grateful," said Argall. "We are blessed to have a number of highly skilled and dedicated individuals in our area who volunteer their time and efforts to protect our communities during fires, accidents, natural disasters and other emergencies."

Grants range from a minimum of $2,500 to a maximum of $15,000 for volunteer fire companies and rescue companies or $10,000 for volunteer ambulance companies. Volunteer fire companies that also provide volunteer ambulance service are eligible to apply for both a volunteer fire company grant and a volunteer ambulance service grant.

The online application for the grants is available now at www.osfc.state.pa.us [1] http://www.osfc.state.pa.us/osfc/site/default.asp [2] and will be accepted until October 23, 2009. Applications can also be obtained by written request to the Office of the State Fire Commissioner, 2605 Interstate Drive, Harrisburg, PA 17110.

House Bill 906 of 2007 re-established the Volunteer Fire Company and Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program, with a $25 million annual fund to provide grants to fire companies and emergency service providers.

Fire companies and EMS organizations needing assistance completing the application are encouraged to contact any of Senator Argall's district offices by calling 1-877-327-4255.