Recognizing that the ongoing response to the COVID-19 crisis is placing a severe financial crisis on Pennsylvania’s volunteer fire companies and EMS squads, Senator Joe Pittman (R-41st) is introducing legislation to establish a special one-time grant program to support those vital first responders.
“As we continue to see the impact of COVID-19 on the Commonwealth, it is evident that our volunteer fire companies and emergency medical services squads need immediate financial assistance,” Senator Pittman said. “These organizations are on the front lines during this crisis. Not only are they being asked to expose themselves to this deadly virus, but the inability to fundraise and a reduction in non-emergency calls are taking a significant financial toll on their operations.”
Senator Pittman’s measure would provide a one-time grant to each fire and EMS Company matching the ones previously approved by PEMA and the Office of the State Fire Commissioner for the 2019-20 Fiscal Year. Additionally, the bill would open a window for EMS and volunteer fire companies that may have missed applying for the original grant. The additional $30 million needed for the grants would come from funds allocated to Pennsylvania through Federal stimulus money.
“Many of these great organizations struggle financially under normal circumstances and the current crisis has certainly exacerbated that need,” Senator Pittman said. “It is incumbent on the Commonwealth to support our volunteer fire companies and EMS agencies as they continue to protect and serve our communities during these challenging times.”
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