Fire companies, EMS get COVID-19 grants
Recognizing the additional challenges facing the Pennsylvania fire and emergency medical services resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the state House of Representatives today approved $50 million in additional grant funding for the organizations, according to Rep. Doyle Heffley, R-Carbon.
Senate Bill 1122 creates the COVID-19 Crisis Fire and Emergency Medical Services Grant Program with funding coming from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
“The fundraising efforts of our local fire and ambulance companies have become even more challenging during the current health crisis,” Heffley said. “This special grant program will help these dedicated volunteers stay in operation at a time when their service to our communities is so critical.”
Under the bill, the funds would be distributed as follows: $44 million for grants to eligible fire companies and $6 million for grants to eligible EMS companies.
The grants would be administered by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency in a manner similar to how funds were provided through the Fire Company Grant Program and Emergency Medical Services Grant Program, respectively. Eligible companies that did not apply for or receive a fire and EMS grant in fiscal year 2019-20 would be required to submit an application for this funding.
After passing by unanimous votes in both the House and Senate, the bill was sent to the governor’s desk for his signature.