– Recognizing the additional challenges facing the state’s fire and emergency medical services as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state House has approved $50 million in additional grant funding for the organizations, said Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint).
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.
“These additional grant funds offer a much-needed lifeline to our first responders who have been on the front lines of fighting back against COVID-19 over the last several months,” Causer said. “In addition to the added expenses they have faced, the stay-at-home orders and other mitigation measures virtually wiped out their fundraising options.
“Too many of these life-saving organizations were already at risk of closing their doors before the pandemic happened. We need to move forward with distributing these funds as soon as possible,” he added.
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 (PEMA) in a manner similar to how funds were provided under 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.
The bill now returns to the Senate for a concurrence vote.
Representative Martin T. Causer
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Patricia A. Hippler