Senators Propose Crisis Grant Program for Volunteer Fire/EMS Companies

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, Senators Joe Pittman (R-41st) and Camera Bartolotta (R-46th) are 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.”

The 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.

 “COVID-19 has severely restricted many of the ways that our volunteer first responders traditionally raise money, like boot drives and chicken barbeques. The needs of these organizations are even greater now as they respond to the statewide public health emergency this virus has caused,” Senator Bartolotta said. “This program will ensure the men and women on the front lines in the battle against the coronavirus will continue to have the training, supplies and equipment they need to keep our communities – and themselves – safe.”

Contacts:        Carlton Logue             (Senator Pittman)         

                        Colleen Greer             (Senator Bartolotta)     

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