HARRISBURG – Volunteer fire and EMS companies could receive additional funding to ease the stress created by the COVID-19 pandemic as part of legislation approved by the General Assembly today, according to one of the bill’s sponsors, Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46).
Senate Bill 1122 would create the COVID-19 Crisis Fire Company and Emergency Medical Services Grant Program to help companies who have seen increased costs for services and reduced fundraising opportunities over the past several months during the public health emergency. The $50 million to fund the program would come from a portion of Pennsylvania’s share of money from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
The program would provide grants to all companies that received funding through the Fire Company Grant Program and Emergency Medical Services Grant Program in the latest round of funding, which was announced in January. Companies that received a grant will automatically receive the additional money, while companies that did not receive a grant will need to submit an application to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.
The bill was introduced by Senator Bartolotta and Senator Joe Pittman (R-41).
“The COVID-19 pandemic has placed an enormous strain on the entire community, including the companies we rely on most to protect our lives during an emergency,” Bartolotta said. “The increased needs for cleaning and protective equipment coupled with the loss of revenue from cancelled fundraisers has created a severe shortfall that threatens the services and volunteers we rely on most. I am grateful that we are taking this critical step to protect those who protect us.”
If signed into law, the bill would make more than $1 million in new grant funding available to first responders in the area, including recipients of grants announced earlier this year:
Beaver County (part)
Hopewell Township Volunteer Fire Department
Independence Township Volunteer Fire Company No. 1
Hanover Volunteer Fire Department
Aliquippa Bureau of Fire
Bobtown Dunkard Volunteer Fire Department
Clarksville & Community Volunteer Fire Department
Greensboro Monongahela Township Volunteer Fire Company
Jefferson Volunteer Fire Company
Nemacolin Volunteer Fire Company
Morris Township Volunteer Fire
Crucible Volunteer Fire Department
New Freeport Volunteer Fire Department
Rices Landing Volunteer Fire Department
Richhill Township Volunteer Fire Company
Wayne Township Volunteer Fire Company
Center Township Volunteer Fire Company
Mount Morris Community Volunteer Fire Company
Carmichaels and Cumberland Township Volunteer Fire Department
Waynesburg Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Company
Amwell Township Volunteer Fire Department
Avella Volunteer Fire Department Inc.
Bentleyville Volunteer Fire Department
Burgettstown Volunteer Fire Department
California Volunteer Fire Department
Canonsburg Volunteer Fire Department
Canton Township Volunteer Fire Company & Rescue Squad No. 1
Cecil Township Volunteer Fire Company
Cecil Township Volunteer Fire Company No. 3 of Millers Run
Charleroi Fire Department
Chartiers Township Volunteer Fire Department No. 1
City of Washington Fire Department
Claysville Volunteer Fire Department
Cokeburg Volunteer Fire Company
Denbo-Vesta Six Volunteer Fire Dept
Donora Fire Company
East Bethlehem Township Volunteer Fire Company
Ellsworth Volunteer Fire Company
Elrama Volunteer Fire Company
Fallowfield Township Volunteer Fire Company
Hanover Volunteer Fire Department
Houston Volunteer Fire Department Inc.
Jefferson Township Volunteer Fire Department Inc.
Lock 4 Volunteer Fire Company
Marianna Volunteer Fire Company
McDonald Volunteer Fire Department
Memorial Park Post 764 VFW Ambulance Service
Midway Volunteer Fire Department of Washington County
Monongahela Fire Department
Morris Township Volunteer Fire Department
Mt. Pleasant VFC Inc.
New Eagle Volunteer Fire Department
North Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Company
North Strabane Township Volunteer Fire Department
Peters Township Volunteer Fire Company 1
Richeyville Volunteer Fire Company
Roscoe Volunteer Fire Company Inc.
Slovan Volunteer Fire Department Inc.
South Franklin Volunteer Fire Department
South Strabane Fire Department Inc.
Stockdale Volunteer Fire Department
Taylorstown Volunteer Fire Company
Valley Inn Volunteer Fire Department
Volunteer Fire Department of Carroll Township
West Alexander Volunteer Fire Department
West Brownsville Volunteer Fire Company
West Finley Volunteer Fire Company
West Middletown Volunteer Fire Department
CONTACT: Colleen Greer (717) 787-1463