35c7301h

 

 

CHAPTER 73

COMMONWEALTH SERVICES

 

Subchapter

A.  The Governor and Disaster Emergencies

B.  Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency

C.  Intrastate Mutual Aid

D.  State Firemen's Training School

E.  Fire and Emergency Medical Services Loan Program

F.  State Fire Commissioner

 

Enactment.  Chapter 73 was added November 26, 1978, P.L.1332, No.323, effective immediately, unless otherwise noted.

Cross References.  Chapter 73 is referred to in section 6107 of Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses).

 

 

SUBCHAPTER A

THE GOVERNOR AND DISASTER EMERGENCIES

 

Sec.

7301.  General authority of Governor.

7302.  Temporary housing.

7303.  Debris and wreckage removal.

7304.  Community disaster loans.

7305.  Individual and family assistance.

7305.1. Grants for hazard mitigation.

7306.  Appropriation of Federal funds.

7307.  Use and appropriation of unused Commonwealth funds (Repealed).

7308.  Laws suspended during emergency assignments.

35c7301s

§ 7301.  General authority of Governor.

(a)  Responsibility to meet disasters.--The Governor is responsible for meeting the dangers to this Commonwealth and people presented by disasters.

(b)  Executive orders, proclamations and regulations.--Under this part, the Governor may issue, amend and rescind executive orders, proclamations and regulations which shall have the force and effect of law.

(c)  Declaration of disaster emergency.--A disaster emergency shall be declared by executive order or proclamation of the Governor upon finding that a disaster has occurred or that the occurrence or the threat of a disaster is imminent. The state of disaster emergency shall continue until the Governor finds that the threat or danger has passed or the disaster has been dealt with to the extent that emergency conditions no longer exist and terminates the state of disaster emergency by executive order or proclamation, but no state of disaster emergency may continue for longer than 90 days unless renewed by the Governor. The General Assembly by concurrent resolution may terminate a state of disaster emergency at any time. Thereupon, the Governor shall issue an executive order or proclamation ending the state of disaster emergency. All executive orders or proclamations issued under this subsection shall indicate the nature of the disaster, the area or areas threatened and the conditions which have brought the disaster about or which make possible termination of the state of disaster emergency. An executive order or proclamation shall be disseminated promptly by means calculated to bring its contents to the attention of the general public and, unless the circumstances attendant upon the disaster prevent or impede, shall be promptly filed with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and the Legislative Reference Bureau for publication under Part II of Title 45 (relating to publication and effectiveness of Commonwealth documents).

(d)  Activation of disaster response.--An executive order or proclamation of a state of disaster emergency shall activate the disaster response and recovery aspects of the Commonwealth and local disaster emergency plans applicable to the political subdivision or area in question and shall be authority for the deployment and use of any forces to which the plan or plans apply and for use or distribution of any supplies, equipment and materials and facilities assembled, stockpiled or arranged to be made available pursuant to this part or any other provision of law relating to disaster emergencies.

(e)  Commander in chief of military forces.--During the continuance of any state of disaster emergency, the Governor is commander in chief of the Pennsylvania military forces. To the greatest extent practicable, the Governor shall delegate or assign command authority by prior arrangement embodied in appropriate executive orders or regulations, but this does not restrict the authority of the Governor to do so by orders issued at the time of the disaster emergency.

(f)  Additional powers.--In addition to any other powers conferred upon the Governor by law, the Governor may:

(1)  Suspend the provisions of any regulatory statute prescribing the procedures for conduct of Commonwealth business, or the orders, rules or regulations of any Commonwealth agency, if strict compliance with the provisions of any statute, order, rule or regulation would in any way prevent, hinder or delay necessary action in coping with the emergency.

(2)  Utilize all available resources of the Commonwealth Government and each political subdivision of this Commonwealth as reasonably necessary to cope with the disaster emergency.

(3)  Transfer the direction, personnel or functions of Commonwealth agencies or units thereof for the purpose of performing or facilitating emergency services.

(4)  Subject to any applicable requirements for compensation under section 7313(10) (relating to powers and duties), commandeer or utilize any private, public or quasi-public property if necessary to cope with the disaster emergency.

(5)  Direct and compel the evacuation of all or part of the population from any stricken or threatened area within this Commonwealth if this action is necessary for the preservation of life or other disaster mitigation, response or recovery.

(6)  Prescribe routes, modes of transportation and destinations in connection with evacuation.

(7)  Control ingress and egress to and from a disaster area, the movement of persons within the area and the occupancy of premises therein.

(8)  Suspend or limit the sale, dispensing or transportation of alcoholic beverages, firearms, explosives and combustibles.

(9)  Confer the power of arrest on the law enforcement personnel serving as part of the emergency forces of a party state during operations in this Commonwealth pursuant to a declaration of a disaster emergency under subsection (c). Law enforcement personnel shall be under the operational control of the Commissioner of Pennsylvania State Police and shall comply with the terms and conditions of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact under Chapter 76 (relating to Emergency Management Assistance Compact). Arrest powers granted under this paragraph shall expire when the declaration of a disaster emergency is terminated by executive order, proclamation or operation of law, if the arrest powers have not previously been terminated.

35c7301v

(July 13, 1988, P.L.501, No.87, eff. imd.; Oct. 27, 2014, P.L.2899, No.187, eff. imd.)

 

2014 Amendment.  Act 187 added subsec. (f)(9).

1988 Amendment.  Act 87 amended subsec. (f)(4).

Cross References.  Section 7301 is referred to in sections 3309, 5731, 5741, 7705, 7903 of this title; section 2306 of Title 12 (Commerce and Trade); section 1306 of Title 23 (Domestic Relations); sections 8704, 8848, 8852 of Title 53 (Municipalities Generally); section 2607 of Title 66 (Public Utilities); section 1119 of Title 75 (Vehicles).

35c7302s

§ 7302.  Temporary housing.

(a)  Authority of Governor.--Whenever the Governor has proclaimed a disaster emergency under this part, or the President has declared an emergency or a major disaster to exist in this Commonwealth, the Governor is authorized:

(1)  To enter into purchase, lease or other arrangements with any Federal agency for temporary housing units to be occupied by disaster victims and to make the units available to any political subdivision of this Commonwealth named as a party to the emergency or disaster declaration.

(2)  To assist any political subdivision of this Commonwealth which is the locus of temporary housing for disaster victims to acquire sites necessary for such temporary housing and to do all things required to prepare such sites to receive and utilize temporary housing units by:

(i)  advancing or lending funds available to the Governor from any appropriation made by the General Assembly or from any other source;

(ii)  "passing through" funds made available by any agency, public or private; or

(iii)  becoming a copartner with the political subdivision for the execution and performance of any temporary housing for disaster victims project;

and for such purposes to pledge the credit of the Commonwealth on such terms as the Governor deems appropriate having due regard for current debt transactions of the Commonwealth.

(3)  Under such regulations as the Governor shall prescribe, to temporarily suspend or modify for not to exceed 60 days any public health, safety, zoning, transportation (within or across this Commonwealth) or other requirement of statute or regulation within this Commonwealth when by proclamation the Governor deems the suspension or modification essential to provide temporary housing for disaster victims.

(b)  Acquisition of sites by political subdivisions.--Any political subdivision of this Commonwealth is expressly authorized to acquire, temporarily or permanently, by purchase, lease or otherwise, sites required for installation of temporary housing units for disaster victims, and to enter into whatever arrangements which are necessary to prepare or equip the sites to utilize the housing units.

(c)  Construction of section.--This section does not limit the authority of the Governor to apply for, administer and expend any grants, gifts or payments in aid of disaster prevention, preparedness, response or recovery.

(d)  Definitions.--As used in this section, "major disaster" and "emergency" shall have the same meanings as defined or used in The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Public Law 93-288, 42 U.S.C. § 5121 et seq.).

35c7302v

(May 31, 1996, 2nd Sp.Sess., P.L.1762, No.2, eff. imd.)

 

1996 Amendment.  Act 2, 2nd Sp.Sess., amended subsec. (d).

Cross References.  Section 7302 is referred to in section 7306 of this title.

35c7303s

§ 7303.  Debris and wreckage removal.

(a)  Authority of Governor.--Whenever the Governor has declared a disaster emergency to exist under this part, or the President, at the request of the Governor, has declared a major disaster or emergency to exist in this Commonwealth, the Governor is authorized:

(1)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, through the use of Commonwealth agencies or instrumentalities, to clear or remove from publicly or privately owned land or water, debris and wreckage which may threaten public health or safety, or public or private property.

(2)  To accept funds from the Federal Government and utilize the funds to make grants or to reimburse any political subdivision for the purpose of removing debris or wreckage from publicly or privately owned land or water.

(b)  Authority of Commonwealth personnel.--Whenever the Governor provides for clearance of debris or wreckage pursuant to subsection (a), employees of the designated Commonwealth agencies or individuals appointed by the Commonwealth are authorized to enter upon private land or waters and perform any tasks necessary to the removal or clearance operation.

(c)  Nonliability of Commonwealth personnel.--Except in cases of willful misconduct, gross negligence or bad faith, any Commonwealth employee or agent complying with and performing duties pursuant to orders of the Governor under this section shall not be liable for death of or injury to persons or damage to property.

35c7303v

 

Cross References.  Section 7303 is referred to in section 7306 of this title.

35c7304s

§ 7304.  Community disaster loans.

Whenever, at the request of the Governor, the President has declared a major disaster to exist in this Commonwealth, the Governor is authorized:

(1)  Upon determining that a political subdivision of this Commonwealth will suffer a substantial loss of tax and other revenues from a major disaster and has demonstrated a need for financial assistance to perform its governmental functions, to apply to the Federal Government, on behalf of the political subdivision, for a loan and to receive and disburse the proceeds of any approved loan to any applicant political subdivision.

(2)  To determine the amount needed by any applicant political subdivision to restore or resume its governmental functions and to certify the amount to the Federal Government. No application amount shall exceed 25% of the annual operating budget of the applicant for the fiscal year in which the major disaster occurs.

(3)  After review, recommend to the Federal Government the cancellation of all or any part of repayment when, in the first three full fiscal-year periods following the major disaster, the revenues of the political subdivision are insufficient to meet its operating expenses including additional disaster-related expenses of a municipal operation character.

35c7304v

 

Cross References.  Section 7304 is referred to in section 7306 of this title.

35c7305s

§ 7305.  Individual and family assistance.

(a)  Grants by Federal Government.--Whenever the President, at the request of the Governor, has declared a major disaster or emergency to exist in this Commonwealth, the Governor is authorized:

(1)  Upon determining that assistance under The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Public Law 93-288, 42 U.S.C. § 5121 et seq.), and from other means is insufficient to meet the disaster-related necessary expenses or serious needs of individuals or families adversely affected by a major disaster, to accept a grant from the Federal Government for the purpose of meeting the expenses or needs of disaster victims, subject to any terms and conditions imposed upon the grant.

(2)  To enter into an agreement with the Federal Government or any Federal agency or officer pledging the Commonwealth to participate in the funding of the assistance authorized in paragraph (1) and, if Commonwealth funds are not otherwise available to the Governor, to accept an advance of the Commonwealth share from the Federal Government to be repaid when the Commonwealth is able to do so.

(b)  Grants by Governor.--To implement subsection (a), the Governor is authorized to make grants to meet disaster-related necessary expenses or serious needs of individuals or families adversely affected by a major disaster declared by the President. Any grant shall not exceed the amount authorized by The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act or by applicable State law to an individual or family in any single major disaster.

(c)  Penalty for false application.--Any person who fraudulently or willfully makes a misstatement of fact in connection with an application for assistance under this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

35c7305v

(May 31, 1996, 2nd Sp.Sess., P.L.1762, No.2, eff. imd.)

35c7305.1s

§ 7305.1.  Grants for hazard mitigation.

(a)  Commonwealth participation in hazard mitigation funding; agreements.--Whenever the President authorizes the contribution of up to 75% of the cost of hazard mitigation measures to reduce the risk of future damage, hardship, loss or suffering in any area affected by a major disaster pursuant to The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Public Law 93-288, 88 Stat. 143), the Governor is authorized, subject to the availability of appropriated funds, to enter into an agreement with the Federal Government or any Federal agency or officer pledging the Commonwealth to participate in the funding of the mitigation project.

(b)  Special Session disaster relief acts.--Projects which are itemized under Chapter 3 of the act of July 11, 1996 (2nd Sp.Sess., P.L.1791, No.8), known as the Special Session Flood Control and Hazard Mitigation Itemization Act of 1996, and the act of July 11, 1996 (2nd Sp.Sess., P.L.1826, No.9), known as the Special Session Flood Relief Act, are deemed to be hazard mitigation projects for the purposes of hazard mitigation funding to the extent that such projects qualify under The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Public Law 93-288, 88 Stat. 143).

35c7305.1v

(July 11, 1996, 2nd Sp.Sess., P.L.1776, No.5, eff. imd.)

 

1996 Amendment.  Act 5, 2nd Sp.Sess., added section 7305.1.

35c7306s

§ 7306.  Appropriation of Federal funds.

All moneys received from the Federal Government for the purpose of disaster assistance or relief, including assistance as specified under sections 7302 (relating to temporary housing), 7303 (relating to debris and wreckage removal) and 7304 (relating to community disaster loans), shall be paid into the General Fund.

35c7307s

§ 7307.  Use and appropriation of unused Commonwealth funds (Repealed).

35c7307v

 

2007 Repeal.  Section 7307 was repealed July 17, 2007, P.L.141, No.42, effective immediately.

35c7308s

§ 7308.  Laws suspended during emergency assignments.

(a)  Commonwealth agencies.--In the case of a declaration of a state of emergency by the Governor, Commonwealth agencies may implement their emergency assignments without regard to procedures required by other laws (except mandatory constitutional requirements) pertaining to the performance of public work, entering into contracts, incurring of obligations, employment of temporary workers, rental of equipment, purchase of supplies and materials and expenditures of public funds.

(b)  Out-of-State business or employee.--Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, if the Governor has declared a disaster emergency to exist under this part or the President has declared a major disaster or emergency to exist in this Commonwealth, the following shall apply:

(1)  An out-of-State business that conducts operations within this Commonwealth for purposes of performing disaster emergency-related work for a period of not more than ten days before or not more than 60 calendar days after the end of the declared disaster emergency period may not be considered to have established a level of presence that would require that business to register, file and remit State or local taxes or that would require the out-of-State business or an out-of-State employee to be subject to any licensing or registration requirements of the Commonwealth, provided that the out-of-State business is in substantial compliance with all applicable regulatory and licensing requirements in its state of domicile, including any of the following:

(i)  State or local business licensing or registration requirements.

(ii)  Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission or regulatory requirements.

(iii)  State and local taxes and fees, such as unemployment insurance, sales and use tax or property tax on equipment brought into this Commonwealth on a temporary basis used during the disaster emergency and subsequently removed from this Commonwealth, State or local occupational licensing fees or local services taxes.

(iv)  A State or local tax on or measured by, in whole or in part, net or gross income or receipts. The activity of the out-of-State business that is conducted in this Commonwealth under this title shall be disregarded with respect to a filing requirement for the tax, including the filing required, if any, for a unitary or combined group of which the out-of-State business may be a part. For the purpose of apportioning income, revenue or receipts, the performance of work in accordance with this section by an out-of-State business may not be sourced to or otherwise impact or increase the amount of income, revenue or receipts apportioned to the Commonwealth.

(2)  The period under paragraph (1) may be extended by the Governor for a period of not more than 30 days for each declared disaster emergency.

(3)  An out-of-State employee shall not be considered to have established residency or presence in this Commonwealth that would require the individual or the individual's employer to file and pay income taxes, to be subjected to income tax withholding or to file and pay any other State or local tax or fee for disaster emergency-related work performed during the disaster period designated under paragraphs (1) and (2), including any related State or local employer withholding or remittance obligations.

(c)  Liability exemption.--Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve an entity or individual from a liability not explicitly exempted under this section, including, but not limited to, damages associated with an act of negligence.

(d)  Transaction taxes and fees.--An out-of-State business and out-of-State employee shall be required to pay transaction taxes and fees, including but not limited to, fuel taxes or sales and use tax on materials or services consumed or used in this Commonwealth subject to sales and use tax, hotel taxes or car rental taxes or fees that the out-of-State business or out-of-State employee purchases for use or consumption in this Commonwealth during the period not more than ten days before or not more than 60 calendar days after the end of the declared disaster emergency unless the taxes or fees are otherwise exempted.

35c7308v

(Oct. 31, 2014, P.L.3044, No.203, eff. 60 days)

 

2014 Amendment.  Section 3 of Act 203 provided that the amendment shall apply to a disaster or emergency that is declared on or after the effective date of section 3.

Cross References.  Section 7308 is referred to in section 7102 of this title.

35c7311h

 

 

SUBCHAPTER B

PENNSYLVANIA EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY

 

Sec.

7311.  Creation.

7312.  Organization.

7313.  Powers and duties.

7314.  Utilization of existing services and facilities.

7315.  Pennsylvania State Fire Commissioner (Repealed).

7316.  Pennsylvania State Fire Academy (Repealed).

7317.  Pennsylvania Volunteer Loan Assistance Program (Repealed).

7318.  Fire Safety Advisory Committee (Repealed).

7319.  Appropriations (Repealed).

7320.  Radiological emergency response preparedness, planning and recovery program.

7321.  Unconventional well 911 emergency response information.

 

Termination of Agency.  The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency is subject to periodic review under the act of December 22, 1981 (P.L.508, No.142), known as the Sunset Act, and will terminate on the date specified in that act unless reestablished or continued by the General Assembly. The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency was reestablished by the act of July 13, 1988 (P.L.501, No.87), until December 31, 1997. The termination date of December 31, 1997, is probably not effective since the Sunset Act expired December 22, 1991.

35c7311s

§ 7311.  Creation.

To assure prompt, proper and effective discharge of basic Commonwealth responsibilities relating to civil defense and disaster preparedness, operations and recovery, there is hereby formally created the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.

35c7311v

 

State Council of Civil Defense.  See section 2 of Act 323 of 1978 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to the transfer to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency of personnel, appropriations, equipment, etc., of the State Council of Civil Defense.

35c7312s

§ 7312.  Organization.

This agency shall consist of and be organized substantially as follows:

(a)  Council.--Primary responsibility for overall policy and direction of a Statewide civil defense and disaster program and response capability of the type hereinafter prescribed shall be vested in a body legally known as the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Council, which shall be composed of: the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Adjutant General, Secretary of Health, Attorney General, General Counsel, Secretary of Community Affairs, Secretary of Environmental Protection, Secretary of Transportation, Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary of Public Welfare, Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police, Chairman of the Public Utility Commission, State Fire Commissioner, Speaker of the House of Representatives, President pro tempore of the Senate, Minority Leader of the Senate and Minority Leader of the House of Representatives. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, President pro tempore of the Senate, Minority Leader of the Senate and Minority Leader of the House of Representatives may authorize a member of their respective Houses of the General Assembly to serve in their stead. The Governor may authorize up to two representatives of business and industry, up to two representatives of labor, up to two public members at large and one representative respectively of the Pennsylvania State Association of County Commissioners, the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Commissioners, the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, the Pennsylvania League of Cities and the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs to be nonvoting members of the council. The Governor may designate a member to serve as chairman. Five members shall constitute a quorum.

(b)  Compensation and expenses.--The members shall serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for their actual and necessary traveling and other expenses incurred in connection with attendance at meetings.

(c)  Regular meetings.--For the conduct of routine business, including particularly the consideration of matters of basic policy, the council shall meet at the call of the chairman and at least three times during each calendar year.

(d)  Emergency meetings.--In the event of attack or disaster situations determined actually or likely to be of such nature, magnitude, severity or duration as to necessitate extensive or extraordinary deployment and use of Commonwealth resources for emergency purposes, the chairman shall, within not more than 72 hours immediately following such determination, call the council into emergency session, for consideration of actions taken or to be taken. In the absence of the chairman, notice of such meetings shall be disseminated to the membership by the State director.

(e)  State director.--To supervise the work and activities comprising the State Civil Defense and Disaster Program, the Governor shall appoint an individual to act, on a full-time basis, as director of the agency. The director shall perform all such fiscal, planning, administrative, operational and other duties as may be assigned to him by the council and shall act as the chairman's principal assistant in civil defense and disaster matters. The director or the director's designee is also the State coordinating officer responsible to coordinate and supervise the Commonwealth and local disaster response effort following a presidential declaration of an emergency or a major disaster.

(f)  Staff.--The council shall, within the limitations of appropriations made to the agency, arrange for the employment of such professional, technical, administrative and other staff personnel as may be deemed essential to the development and maintenance of a Statewide civil defense and disaster plan and program of the type hereinafter prescribed. All such personnel shall be employed and subject to pertinent provisions of the act of August 5, 1941 (P.L.752, No.286), known as the "Civil Service Act," and the Commonwealth Compensation Plan.

(g)  Office space, equipment and services.--The agency shall be furnished necessary and appropriate office space, furniture, equipment, supplies and services in the same general manner as are other Commonwealth departments and agencies.

(h)  Emergency communications.--The agency shall maintain an integrated communications capability designed to provide to all areas and counties weather advisories, river forecasts, warnings, and direction and control of all emergency preparedness functions within the Commonwealth. The agency shall coordinate the Commonwealth's emergency communication systems, sharing of information and weather emergency notification among the National Weather Service, contiguous State emergency management offices, local coordinators of emergency management, the Pennsylvania State Police, local police departments, private relief associations and other appropriate organizations. Additionally, the agency shall establish the sole Statewide telephone number that persons, including county and municipal emergency management personnel, may use to report incidences of radioactive and hazardous materials and other disaster emergencies.

(i)  Administrative provisions.--Except as otherwise provided in this part, the agency shall be subject to the provisions of the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.177, No.175), known as "The Administrative Code of 1929."

35c7312v

(July 13, 1988, P.L.501, No.87, eff. imd.; Nov. 13, 1995, P.L.609, No.62, eff. 60 days)

 

1995 Amendment.  Act 62 amended subsec. (a).

1988 Amendment.  Act 87 amended subsecs. (a), (d), (e) and (h). See section 9 of Act 87 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to continuation of State Director.

References in Text.  The Secretary of Community Affairs, referred to in subsec. (a), was abolished by Act 58 of 1996 and the functions were transferred to the Secretary of Community and Economic Development.

The Secretary of Public Welfare, referred to in this section, was redesignated as the Secretary of Human Services by Act 132 of 2014.

Cross References.  Section 7312 is referred to in section 2103 of Title 71 (State Government).

35c7313s

§ 7313.  Powers and duties.

The agency shall have the following powers and duties:

(1)  To prepare, maintain and keep current a Pennsylvania Emergency Management Plan for the prevention and minimization of injury and damage caused by disaster, prompt and effective response to disaster and disaster emergency relief and recovery. The plan may include provisions for:

(i)  Preparedness standards established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

(ii)  Commonwealth and local disaster emergency management responsibilities.

(iii)  Assistance to Commonwealth agencies, local government officials, schools and custodial child care facilities in designing emergency management plans and training programs.

(iv)  Organization of manpower, chains of command, continuity of government in emergency situations and emergency operational principles.

(v)  Coordination of Federal, Commonwealth and local disaster emergency management activities.

(vi)  Coordination of the Commonwealth Emergency Management Plan with the disaster plans of the Federal Government and those of other states.

(vii)  Assistance to the Commonwealth and local governments in obtaining, utilizing and managing Federal and Commonwealth disaster assistance.

(viii)  Supply to appropriate Commonwealth and local officials State catalogs of Federal, Commonwealth and private assistance programs.

(ix)  Identification of areas particularly vulnerable to disasters.

(x)  Recommendations for zoning, building and other land-use controls; safety measures pertaining to nonpermanent or semipermanent structures; resource conservation and allocation; and other preventive and preparedness measures designed to eliminate or reduce disasters or their impact.

(xi)  Authorization and procedures for the erection or other construction of temporary works designed to protect against or mitigate danger, damage or loss from flood, conflagration or other disaster.

(2)  To establish, equip and staff a Commonwealth and area emergency operations center with a consolidated Statewide system of warning and provide a system of disaster communications integrated with those of Federal, Commonwealth and local agencies involved in disaster emergency operations.

(3)  To promulgate, adopt and enforce such rules, regulations and orders as may be deemed necessary to carry out the provisions of this part.

(4)  To provide technical advice and assistance to Commonwealth agencies, political subdivisions, schools and custodial child care facilities in the preparation of disaster emergency management plans or components thereof and to periodically review such plans and suggest or require revisions.

(5)  To establish and operate or assist political subdivisions in establishing and operating training programs and programs of public information.

(6)  To supply appropriate Commonwealth and local agencies and officials and the general public with precautionary notices, watches and warnings relating to actual and potential disasters and to provide a flow of official information and instructions to the general public through all means available before, during and after an emergency. The agency shall implement a program of integrated flood warning systems among political subdivisions. The agency shall establish coordinated flood notification and early warning systems along prescribed major river basins and selected tributaries thereof in this Commonwealth.

(7)  To provide emergency direction and control of Commonwealth and local emergency operations.

(8)  To determine the need for, maintain information regarding and procure materials, supplies, equipment, facilities and services necessary for disaster emergency readiness, response and recovery.

(9)  To make or request of Commonwealth or local agencies and officials, studies, surveys and reports as are necessary to carry out the purposes of this part.

(10)  To plan and make arrangements for the availability and use of any private facilities, services and property and, if necessary and if in fact used, provide for payment for use under terms and conditions agreed upon.

(11)  To prepare, for issuance by the Governor, executive orders, proclamations and regulations as necessary or appropriate in coping with disasters.

(12)  To cooperate with the Federal Government and any public or private agency or entity in achieving any purpose of this part and in implementing programs for disaster prevention, preparation, response and recovery.

(13)  To administer grant programs to political subdivisions for disaster management.

(14)  To accept and coordinate assistance provided by Federal agencies in major disasters or emergencies in accordance with the provisions of The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Public Law 93-288, 42 U.S.C. § 5121 et seq.), or any amendment or reenactment thereof.

(15)  To respond to disaster relating to atomic energy operations or radioactive objects or materials. Any such action taken and any regulations adopted by the office shall be inapplicable to any objects or materials possessing a radiation-producing capacity less than that set forth as the maximum safety limit by the standards endorsed and as may be subsequently endorsed by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission for the protection of life and property and the maintenance of health and safety.

(16)  To take other action necessary, incidental or appropriate for the implementation of this part.

(17)  To report annually to the General Assembly the state of preparedness of the Commonwealth to deal with attack or disaster and those significant events occurring within the past year.

(18)  To recommend to the Governor legislation or other actions as deemed necessary in connection with the purposes of this part.

(19)  To provide, from its own stockpiles or other sources, emergency operational equipment, materials and supplies required and available for essential supplementation of those owned, acquired and used by Commonwealth, county and local departments and agencies for attack and disaster operations. The agency shall establish two regional emergency supply warehouses. One shall be located in the western part of this Commonwealth, and one shall be located in the eastern part of this Commonwealth.

(20)  For the period during which an emergency is declared by the Governor, to incur obligations for or purchase such materials and supplies as may be necessary to combat a disaster, protect the health and safety of persons and property and provide emergency assistance to victims of a disaster without complying with formal bidding or other time-consuming contract procedures.

(21)  To require hydroelectric generating facilities and dam operators to do all of the following:

(i)  Provide minimum competency testing for their operators.

(ii)  Submit plans for flood notification and warning.

35c7313v

(July 13, 1988, P.L.501, No.87, eff. imd.; May 31, 1996, 2nd Sp.Sess., P.L.1762, No.2, eff. imd.; July 13, 2004, P.L.689, No.73, eff. 60 days)

 

2004 Amendment.  Act 73 amended pars. (1)(iii) and (4).

1996 Amendment.  Act 2, 2nd Sp.Sess., amended par. (14).

1988 Amendment.  Act 87 amended pars. (6), (19) and (20) and added par. (21).

Cross References.  Section 7313 is referred to in sections 7301, 7320, 7503 of this title.

35c7314s

§ 7314.  Utilization of existing services and facilities.

In order to avoid duplication of services and facilities, the agency shall utilize the services and facilities of existing officers, offices, departments, commissions, boards, bureaus, institutions and other agencies of the Commonwealth and of the political subdivisions thereof. These officers and agencies shall cooperate with and extend their services and facilities to the agency as requested.

35c7315s

§ 7315.  Pennsylvania State Fire Commissioner (Repealed).

35c7315v

 

1995 Repeal.  Section 7315 was repealed November 13, 1995, P.L.604, No.61, effective in 60 days.

35c7316s

§ 7316.  Pennsylvania State Fire Academy (Repealed).

35c7316v

 

1995 Repeal.  Section 7316 was repealed November 13, 1995, P.L.604, No.61, effective in 60 days.

35c7317s

§ 7317.  Pennsylvania Volunteer Loan Assistance Program (Repealed).

35c7317v

 

1995 Repeal.  Section 7317 was repealed November 13, 1995, P.L.604, No.61, effective in 60 days.

35c7318s

§ 7318.  Fire Safety Advisory Committee (Repealed).

35c7318v

 

1995 Repeal.  Section 7318 was repealed November 13, 1995, P.L.604, No.61, effective in 60 days.

35c7319s

§ 7319.  Appropriations (Repealed).

35c7319v

 

1995 Repeal.  Section 7319 was repealed November 13, 1995, P.L.604, No.61, effective in 60 days.

35c7320s

§ 7320.  Radiological emergency response preparedness, planning and recovery program.

(a)  Establishment of program.--In addition to the powers and duties of the agency set forth in section 7313 (relating to powers and duties), the agency shall develop, establish and maintain a radiological emergency response preparedness, planning and recovery program consistent with the Commonwealth's Emergency Management Plan and in accordance with other applicable Federal regulations and State laws for each nuclear generating facility that has received an operating license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

(b)  Agency functions.--The specific functions of the agency under the radiological emergency response preparedness, planning and recovery program shall include, but not be limited to:

(1)  Serving as the point of contact for interface between the affected facilities and other Commonwealth agencies and departments, counties, municipalities and school districts.

(2)  Annual review and revision, as necessary, of the risk and support county radiological emergency response plans to ensure that they are consistent with the Commonwealth's Emergency Management Plan.

(3)  Participation in required exercises, including emergency communication drills and tests, as based upon mutually agreed schedules and parameters.

(4)  Participation in the Federal full participation exercises scheduled for nuclear generation stations.

(5)  Review and revision, as necessary, of Annex E, "Radiological Emergency Response to Nuclear Power Plant Incidents," of the Commonwealth's Emergency Management Plan and annual review of the onsite emergency response plan of each utility to ensure that it is consistent with the annex.

(6)  Seeking formal Federal review and approval of the Commonwealth's Annex E to its Emergency Management Plan and the county, municipal and other plans in accordance with 44 CFR Part 350 (relating to review and approval of state and local radiological emergency plans and preparedness). Once Federal approval is obtained for the plans, the agency shall seek to maintain that approval status.

(7)  Annual review of municipal and school district radiological emergency response plans in conjunction with the respective county emergency management agencies to ensure that they are consistent with the applicable county radiological emergency response plans.

(8)  Assisting in the update of lesson plans used by each utility for county, municipal, school and volunteer agency offsite training purposes and, to the extent necessary to obtain Federal approval, participation in this training effort.

(9)  Annual review of the Alert Notification System Report for each nuclear generating station to ensure that current information from the State and county plans are included in the report and assist in the coordination of siren or other emergency communication tests with each utility, the appropriate counties and adjacent states.

(10)  Coordinating the review and update of emergency information brochures with the respective counties and utilities.

(11)  Participation with each utility in planning and program meetings scheduled with counties, municipalities and school districts.

(12)  Developing planning and preparedness procedures for emergency response within the ingestion exposure pathway zone.

(13)  Providing a qualified press secretary or designee to participate in the operation of a joint information center upon its activation by a utility.

(14)  Performing actions necessary to satisfy the Commonwealth's responsibilities relative to Federal guidance memoranda.

(15)  Providing reasonable assistance and support requested by a utility from time to time in connection with the utility obtaining or maintaining, or both, an emergency plan acceptable to Federal regulatory entities having jurisdiction over the utility.

(16)  Providing other reasonable assistance and support requested by utilities from time to time.

(17)  Providing guidance to State, county and municipal elected officials, departments and agencies and school districts in order to ensure compliance with this section and all other applicable Federal and State radiation protection safety laws.

(18)  Providing redundant communications' capability between the agency's headquarters and each nuclear generating station in this Commonwealth sufficient to meet Federal and State regulatory requirements.

(c)  Establishment of fund.--There is hereby created in the General Fund a nonlapsing restricted receipt account to be known as the Radiological Emergency Response Planning and Preparedness Program Fund. Fees received under subsection (d) shall be deposited in this fund. Moneys in the fund are hereby appropriated to the agency to carry out its responsibilities under subsections (a) and (b).

(d) Annual fees.--(Repealed).

35c7320v

(Dec. 20, 1989, P.L.665, No.85, eff. imd.; July 13, 2007, P.L.95, No.31, eff. imd.)

 

2007 Repeal.  Act 31 repealed subsec. (d).

1989 Amendment.  Act 85 added section 7320.

35c7321s

§ 7321.  Unconventional well 911 emergency response information.

(a)  Emergency regulations.--The agency and the Department of Environmental Protection shall adopt emergency regulations directing the operators of all unconventional wells within this Commonwealth to do all of the following:

(1)  Adopt a unique GPS coordinate address for each unconventional well at both the access road entrance and well pad site.

(2)  Register that address with the agency, the Department of Environmental Protection and the county emergency management organization within the county where the unconventional well is located.

(3)  Require the development of an emergency response plan and file that plan with the agency, the Department of Environmental Protection and the county emergency management organization with jurisdiction over the unconventional well. The county shall disseminate the GPS address and emergency response plan to the local emergency management organization in which the unconventional well is located.

(4)  Post a reflective sign at the entrance to each unconventional well site with the specific address of that site, the coordinates for the site, the emergency contact number for the operator and such other information as the agency or the Department of Environmental Protection deems necessary.

(b)  Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Unconventional formation."  A geological shale formation existing below the base of the Elk Sandstone or its geologic equivalent stratigraphic interval where natural gas generally cannot be produced at economic flow rates or in economic volumes except by vertical or horizontal well bores stimulated by:

(1)  hydraulic fracture treatments;

(2)  using multilateral well bores; or

(3)  other techniques to expose more of the formation of the well bore.

"Unconventional well."  A bore hole drilled or being drilled for the purpose of or to be used for the production of natural gas from an unconventional formation.

35c7321v

(Feb. 2, 2012, P.L.67, No.9, eff. imd.)

 

2012 Amendment.  Act 9 added section 7321. Section 2 of Act 9 provided that regulations promulgated under section 7321 shall apply to both new and existing unconventional wells within this Commonwealth.

35c7331h

 

 

SUBCHAPTER C

INTRASTATE MUTUAL AID

 

Sec.

7331.  Purpose of subchapter.

7332.  Definitions.

7333.  Intrastate Mutual Aid Committee.

7334.  System.

7335.  Assistance.

7336.  License, certificate and permit portability.

7337.  Insurance.

7338.  Workers' compensation.

7339.  Immunity.

7340.  Effect on other agreements.

 

Enactment.  Subchapter C was added October 8, 2008, P.L.1098, No.93, effective immediately.

35c7331s

§ 7331.  Purpose of subchapter.

The purpose of this subchapter is to create a system of intrastate mutual aid between participating political subdivisions within this Commonwealth, whereby each participating political subdivision recognizes that emergencies transcend the boundaries of a political subdivision and that intergovernmental coordination is essential for the protection of lives and property and for the best use of available public and private assets. The system shall provide for mutual assistance among the participating political subdivisions in the prevention of, response to and recovery from threats to public health and safety that are beyond the capability of an affected community to respond. The system shall provide for mutual cooperation among the participating subdivisions in conducting exercises, testing or other training activities.

35c7332s

§ 7332.  Definitions.

The following words and phrases when used in this subchapter shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Agency."  The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.

"Committee."  The Intrastate Mutual Aid Committee.

"Dedicated emergency response organization."  Any entity organized, chartered or incorporated in this Commonwealth or chartered by the Congress of the United States for the primary purpose of providing emergency services. The term shall include volunteer, career and combination organizations.

"Emergency responder."  An individual in the public or private sector who has special skills, qualifications, training, knowledge or experience, whether or not the person possesses a license, certificate, permit or other official recognition for the skills, qualifications, training, knowledge or experience, that would benefit a participating political subdivision in responding to an authorized mutual aid request or participating in an authorized drill or exercise. The term shall include a law enforcement officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical services worker, a physician, nurse or other public health worker, an emergency management official, a coroner or medical examiner, a State-certified hazardous materials team member, a public works worker, a building inspector, an architect, an engineer or other design professional or a person with specialized equipment operations skills or training or with any other skills needed to provide aid in a declared emergency.

"Incident."  Any event or condition which constitutes an actual or imminent threat to public health and safety, public or private property or the economic well-being of the community.

"Incident commander."  The individual responsible for all incident-related activities, including the development of strategies and tactics and the ordering and releasing of resources as provided under the National Incident Management System.

"Mutual aid."  Mutual assistance and sharing of resources among participating political subdivisions in the prevention of, response to and recovery from threats to public health and safety that are beyond the capability of an affected community to respond.

"National Incident Management System."  The National Incident Management System established by the United States Department of Homeland Security.

"Participating political subdivision."  A political subdivision that has not opted out of the intrastate mutual aid system.

"Political subdivision."  Any county, city, borough, incorporated town or township. The term shall include any council of governments established among any of the above.

"Requesting political subdivision."  A participating political subdivision that requests assistance under this subchapter.

"Responding political subdivision."  A participating political subdivision that responds to a request for assistance under this subchapter.

"System."  The intrastate mutual aid system.

35c7333s

§ 7333.  Intrastate Mutual Aid Committee.

(a)  Establishment.--There is established the Intrastate Mutual Aid Committee.

(b)  Membership.--The committee shall be comprised of the following members:

(1)  The director of the agency or a designee, who shall serve as the chairman of the committee.

(2)  The State Fire Commissioner and the Director of the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services of the Department of Health or any successor bureau or administrative unit having similar responsibilities.

(3)  Three representatives each from the career fire services, the volunteer fire services and the emergency medical services.

(4)  Three county emergency management agency directors, one from each agency area, who shall be recommended by the respective agency area directors.

(5)  One representative each from the State Chiefs of Police Association, the State Fraternal Order of Police and the Pennsylvania State Police.

(6)  One representative each from the Statewide county and municipal government associations' representative elected officials.

(7)  Three representatives from county-based 911 programs.

(8)  One representative from the Pennsylvania State Coroners Association.

(c)  Appointments.--Each member under subsection (b) shall be appointed by the director of the agency, and the appointment shall be based on recommendations from the organizations and associations represented. The county-based 911 members shall be selected from recommendations made by the three agency area directors.

(d)  Terms of office.--Members shall serve a term of two years and may be appointed for subsequent terms.

(e)  Duties of committee.--The committee shall do all of the following:

(1)  Hold at least one meeting each year to review the progress and status of the intrastate mutual aid system.

(2)  Provide participating political subdivisions with a method to track and evaluate the system.

(3)  Examine issues facing participating political subdivisions and emergency responders regarding the implementation of this subchapter.

(4)  Prepare an annual report on the condition and effectiveness of mutual aid in this Commonwealth, which shall be submitted to the chairperson and minority chairperson of the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee of the Senate and the chairperson and minority chairperson of the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee of the House of Representatives. This report may contain recommendations for correcting any deficiencies within the system.

(5)  Develop all of the following:

(i)  Comprehensive guidelines and procedures that address all of the following:

(A)  Projected or anticipated costs potentially incurred by a participating political subdivision.

(B)  Recordkeeping for participating political subdivisions.

(C)  Reimbursement procedures and other necessary implementation elements.

(D)  Any other procedures that the committee deems necessary.

(ii)  Checklists for requesting and providing assistance.

(iii)  Forms for requests and other records to document the deployment and return of assets.

35c7334s

§ 7334.  System.

(a)  Establishment.--An intrastate mutual aid system is established for the purpose of providing mutual aid within this Commonwealth.

(b)  Participation.--

(1)  All political subdivisions within this Commonwealth shall be a part of the system unless the political subdivision elects not to participate by enacting a resolution declaring their desire not to participate and by submitting a copy of the resolution to the agency and to its county emergency management agency.

(2)  All political subdivisions within this Commonwealth shall consult with fire and emergency medical services providers to discuss the emergency services needs of the political subdivision.

(3)  Any political subdivision that elects not to participate in the system, as provided under subsection (a), may at a later date elect to participate in the system by enacting a resolution declaring its desire to participate and by submitting a copy of the resolution to the agency and to its county emergency management agency.

(4)  Participation by a political subdivision in the system of intrastate mutual aid established by this subchapter shall not be subject to the requirements of 53 Pa.C.S. Ch. 23 Subch. A (relating to intergovernmental cooperation).

(c)  Responsibilities.--It shall be the responsibility of each participating political subdivision with jurisdiction over and responsibility for emergency management within that political subdivision to do all of the following:

(1)  Identify potential hazards that could affect the participating political subdivision using an identification system as developed by the committee common to all participating political subdivisions.

(2)  Conduct joint planning, intelligence sharing and threat assessment development with contiguous participating political subdivisions.

(3)  Conduct joint training with contiguous participating political subdivisions at least biennially.

(4)  Identify and inventory the current services, equipment, supplies, personnel and other resources related to planning, prevention, mitigation, response and recovery activities of the participating political subdivisions in accordance with the National Incident Management System Integration Center resource management guidance.

(5)  Adopt and implement the standardized incident management system approved by the agency.

(6)  Adopt and implement the National Incident Management System requirements established by the United States Department of Homeland Security.

35c7335s

§ 7335.  Assistance.

(a)  Requests.--A participating political subdivision may request assistance of other participating political subdivisions or their designated emergency response organizations. All requests for assistance shall be initiated from the incident commander or authorized designee at an incident location, the county 911 center or the county emergency manager where the incident occurs. All intrastate mutual aid requests for assistance shall be made to the county 911 center or county emergency management coordinator or authorized designee in the responding county. Intrastate mutual aid requests for assistance may also be made through the agency. A written request shall be submitted after a verbal request is made as soon as practicable or within the number of days that the agency, in its discretion, may determine.

(b)  Response to requests.--A participating political subdivision's obligation to provide assistance in the prevention of, response to and recovery from an incident or in authorized drills or exercises shall be subject to all of the following conditions:

(1)  A responding political subdivision may withhold resources to the extent necessary to provide reasonable protection and services for its own jurisdiction.

(2)  Emergency response personnel of a responding political subdivision shall remain under the administrative and policy procedures and control of their respective jurisdiction, including medical protocols, standard operating procedures and other protocols, but shall be under the operational control of the appropriate officials within the incident management system of the requesting political subdivision.

(3)  Assets and equipment of a responding political subdivision shall remain under the administrative and policy procedures and control of their respective jurisdiction but shall be under the control of the appropriate officials within the incident management system of the requesting political subdivision.

(4)  The incident commander shall have overall authority and responsibility for conducting incident operations and shall be responsible for the management of all incident operations at the incident site.

(c)  Reimbursement.--A requesting political subdivision shall reimburse the responding political subdivision in accordance with procedures established by the committee. A responding political subdivision may donate assets of any kind to a participating political subdivision. If a dispute arises regarding reimbursement, involved parties shall make every effort to resolve the dispute within 30 days of written notice of the dispute by the party asserting noncompliance. In the event that the dispute is not resolved within 90 days of the notice of the claim, either party may request the dispute be resolved through arbitration. Any arbitration requested under this subsection shall be conducted under the commercial arbitration rules of the American Arbitration Association.

(d)  Exceptions.--The provisions of this section shall not apply to specific mutual aid agreements which exist on the effective date of this section and which were made between political subdivisions and emergency response organizations to cover response to routine incidents.

35c7336s

§ 7336.  License, certificate and permit portability.

If a person holds a license, certificate or other permit issued by a participating political subdivision or the Commonwealth evidencing qualification in a professional, mechanical or other skill and the assistance of that person or entity is requested by a participating political subdivision, the person shall be deemed to be licensed, certified or permitted in the political subdivision requesting assistance for the duration of the incident response or authorized drills or exercises and subject to any limitations and conditions the chief executive of the participating political subdivision receiving the assistance may prescribe by executive order or otherwise.

35c7337s

§ 7337.  Insurance.

A responding political subdivision shall ensure that adequate insurance protection is in effect covering all vehicles and equipment used in response to an intrastate mutual aid request. Personnel of the responding political subdivision shall maintain direct and overall control of all vehicles and equipment utilized in an intrastate mutual aid response and shall ensure that vehicles and equipment are used within intended design specifications.

35c7338s

§ 7338.  Workers' compensation.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a responding political subdivision shall provide appropriate workers' compensation insurance protection for municipal employees and volunteers representing the responding political subdivision when responding to a request under this system. Personnel of a responding political subdivision who sustain injury or death in the course of and arising out of their employment shall be entitled to all applicable benefits normally available to personnel while performing their duties for their employer. Responders shall receive any additional Federal and State benefits that may be available to them for line-of-duty deaths.

35c7339s

§ 7339.  Immunity.

All activities performed under the intrastate mutual aid system are deemed to be governmental functions. For the purposes of liability, all persons responding under the operational control of the requesting political subdivision shall be deemed to be employees of the requesting participating political subdivision. Except in cases of willful misconduct, gross negligence or bad faith, neither the participating political subdivisions nor their employees shall be liable for the death of or injury to persons or for damage to property when complying or attempting to comply with the system. This subchapter shall provide no immunity, rights or privileges for any individual responding to an incident where the response has not been requested by a participating political subdivision.

35c7340s

§ 7340.  Effect on other agreements.

Nothing in this subchapter shall preclude participating political subdivisions from entering into supplementary agreements with another political subdivision. Nothing in this subchapter shall affect any other agreement to which a political subdivision may, on the effective date of this section, be a party.

35c7351h

 

 

SUBCHAPTER D

STATE FIREMEN'S TRAINING SCHOOL

 

Sec.

7351.  Establishment, purpose and name.

7352.  Supervision and control.

7353.  Powers and duties.

7354.  Persons admitted.

7355.  Application for admission.

7356.  Acquisition of site.

7357.  Conveyance of land and plans for buildings and structures.

7358.  Leasing by Commonwealth.

 

Enactment.  Subchapter D was added November 23, 2010, P.L.1181, No.118, effective January 1, 2011.

Special Provisions in Appendix.  See section 7(b.1)(3) of Act 118 of 2010 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to continuation of prior law.

35c7351s

§ 7351.  Establishment, purpose and name.

In order to enable the Department of Education more effectively to train firefighters under the program of the Public Service Institute Board established by the department under its vocational education program, there is hereby established a training school for firefighters for practical training in the control and extinguishment of fires. The training school shall be known as the Pennsylvania State Firemen's Training School.

35c7352s

§ 7352.  Supervision and control.

The management of the school and the control and care of the buildings and grounds owned and used by the Commonwealth for the school and the conduct of instruction at the school shall be under the direct supervision and control of the Department of Education.

35c7353s

§ 7353.  Powers and duties.

The Department of Education and the Public Service Institute Board shall have the power and their duty shall be:

(1)  To fix the salaries of the employees of the school in conformity with the standards established by the Executive Board.

(2)  To make rules and regulations for the government and management of the school and the admission of firefighters from the various political subdivisions to the school.

(3)  To prescribe the courses of study and the practical training in connection therewith.

(4)  To accept on behalf of the Commonwealth donations of land or equipment for the use of the school.

35c7354s

§ 7354.  Persons admitted.

All firefighters who are regularly employed by any local political subdivision of this Commonwealth and all regularly enrolled members of volunteer fire companies shall be eligible for admission to the school and shall be chosen by the governing authority of each political subdivision. The Public Service Institute Board shall apportion the number admitted to the school so that each county is represented in the ratio that the number of firefighters in each county bears to the total number of firefighters in this Commonwealth.

35c7355s

§ 7355.  Application for admission.

Application for admission shall be made to the Public Service Institute Board by the political subdivisions in the manner prescribed by the board.

35c7356s

§ 7356.  Acquisition of site.

The Secretary of Education, with the approval of the Governor, may accept a gift of land suitable as a site for the school or, if no gift of a suitable site is offered, the secretary shall, with the approval of the Governor, select for acquisition by the Department of General Services in the name of the Commonwealth a tract of land located in or adjacent to the borough of Lewistown for the erection, construction, furnishing and equipping thereon by the Department of General Services of the Pennsylvania State Firemen's Training School. The title to the lands so acquired, whether by gift or otherwise, shall be approved by the Attorney General. If it shall be found that the Commonwealth owns State lands suitable in whole or in part for such use, the lands may be designated by the Department of Education, with the approval of the Governor and the department, board or commission having possession and control of the lands, and used for such purpose. Any additional lands necessary may be selected and acquired as herein provided.

35c7357s

§ 7357.  Conveyance of land and plans for buildings and structures.

Upon the acquisition of any land in the name of the Commonwealth or designation of any land of the Commonwealth, the Department of General Services shall have the authority to erect or construct and furnish and equip thereon the buildings and other structures necessary for the Pennsylvania State Firemen's Training School. The plans and specifications of the school, whether erected on land acquired directly by the Department of General Services or by conveyance to it from the Commonwealth, shall be subject to the approval of the Department of Education and shall provide for suitable buildings and other necessary equipment, structures and improvements.

35c7358s

§ 7358.  Leasing by Commonwealth.

The Department of General Services, with the approval of the Governor, is authorized to enter into a lease for not more than 99 years to acquire the use of the buildings and structures and any lands connected therewith and the furnishings and equipment thereof for the purpose of having the same managed and operated by the Department of Education.

35c7361h

 

 

SUBCHAPTER E

FIRE AND EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES

LOAN PROGRAM

 

Sec.

7361.  Scope of subchapter.

7362.  Legislative findings and declaration of purpose.

7363.  Definitions.

7364.  Assistance to fire companies and EMS companies.

7365.  Fire and Emergency Medical Services Loan Fund.

7366.  Powers and duties of office.

7367.  Authority to borrow.

7368.  Bonds, issue, maturity and interest.

7369.  Sale of bonds.

7370.  Refunding bonds.

7371.  Disposition and use of proceeds.

7372.  Registration of bonds.

7373.  Information to General Assembly.

7374.  Fire and Emergency Medical Services Loan Sinking Fund and investments.

7375.  Expenses of preparation, issue and sale of bonds.

7376.  Repayment obligations for principal and interest.

7377.  Quorum.

7378.  Temporary financing authorization.

7378.1. Referendum for additional indebtedness.

7378.2. Authorization of contracts, reimbursement procedure and amount.

7378.3. Reimbursement procedure and amount.

7378.4. Referendum to expand loan assistance.

7378.5. Annual report and distribution of information.

 

Enactment.  Subchapter E was added November 23, 2010, P.L.1181, No.118, effective January 1, 2011.

Subchapter Heading.  The heading of Subchapter E was amended October 29, 2020, P.L.  , No.91, effective in 60 days.

Special Provisions in Appendix.  See section 7(b.1)(8) of Act 118 of 2010 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to continuation of prior law.

Cross References.  Subchapter E is referred to in sections 7362, 7363, 7364, 7365, 7366, 7367, 7368, 7369, 7370, 7371, 7373, 7374, 7375, 7377, 7378, 7378.1, 7378.3, 7385, 7814, 7824 of this title.

35c7361s

§ 7361.  Scope of subchapter.

This subchapter relates to fire companies and emergency medical services companies.

35c7361v

(Oct. 29, 2020, P.L.  , No.91, eff. 60 days)

35c7362s

§ 7362.  Legislative findings and declaration of purpose.

(a)  Findings.--The General Assembly finds that:

(1)  Under the provisions of section 7(a)(3) of Article VIII of the Constitution of Pennsylvania, the voters of the Commonwealth approved by referenda on November 4, 1975, the incurring of indebtedness of $10,000,000 and on November 3, 1981, approved the incurring of an additional $15,000,000 of indebtedness and on November 6, 1990, approved the incurring of an additional $25,000,000 of indebtedness for loans to volunteer fire companies, volunteer ambulance services and volunteer rescue squads for the purpose of establishing or modernizing facilities to house firefighting apparatus equipment, ambulances and rescue vehicles and for purchasing new firefighting apparatus equipment, ambulances and rescue vehicles, protective and communications equipment and any other accessory equipment necessary for the proper performance of such organizations' duties.

(2)  Under the provisions of section 7(a)(3) of Article VIII of the Constitution of Pennsylvania, on November 5, 2002, the voters of this Commonwealth approved by referendum the incurring of indebtedness for the establishment of a program that utilizes capital and other related methods to enhance and improve the delivery of volunteer fire and volunteer emergency services in this Commonwealth. The General Assembly further finds that the use of up to $50,000,000 of such indebtedness to expand the existing program providing for loans to volunteer fire companies, volunteer ambulance services and volunteer rescue squads as authorized under this subchapter is an appropriate use of such indebtedness.

(b)  Purpose.--The General Assembly has determined that fire companies and emergency medical services companies are most in need of loans. The General Assembly intends that the loans provided under this subchapter be used to replace outmoded or unsafe equipment and buildings of fire companies and emergency medical services companies to meet an increasing demand for a higher level of service in the communities which they serve.

35c7362v

(Oct. 29, 2020, P.L.  , No.91, eff. 60 days)

 

2020 Amendment.  Act 91 amended subsec. (b).

35c7363s

§ 7363.  Definitions.

The following words and phrases when used in this subchapter shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Accessory equipment."  Firefighting, ambulance and rescue equipment necessary to carry out the ordinary functions of supporting fires, life and rescue activities.

"Agency."  (Deleted by amendment).

"Apparatus equipment."  Elevated equipment, pumpers, tankers, ladder trucks, utility or special service vehicles, ambulances, rescue vehicles or other large equipment used for firefighting and emergency services.

"Commissioner."  The State Fire Commissioner.

"Communications equipment."  Any voice or original transmission system required to support the operation of the volunteer fire company, volunteer ambulance service and volunteer rescue squad.

"Emergency medical services company" or "EMS company."  A career, nonprofit or volunteer emergency medical services company.

"Establishing."  In the context of establishing or modernizing facilities, the term means both the construction of new buildings and the acquisition or renovation of existing structures.

"Facilities."  Facilities used to house firefighting equipment, ambulances and rescue vehicles. The term shall not include meeting halls, social rooms or any other facilities not directly related to firefighting.

"Fire company."  A volunteer fire company.

"Fund."  The Fire and Emergency Medical Services Loan Fund established under section 7365 (relating to Fire and Emergency Medical Services Loan Fund).

"Municipality."  A county, city, borough, incorporated town or township.

"National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards." Apparatus and equipment, including personal protective equipment, shall be deemed to meet the requirements of compliance with the applicable standards of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), except that:

(1)  New apparatus shall be constructed to meet or exceed the standards in effect at the time of manufacture.

(2)  Used firefighting apparatus shall:

(i)  in no instance meet lesser requirements than the standards for apparatus adopted by the National Fire Protection Association in 1991; and

(ii)  beginning June 25, 1999, meet the National Fire Protection Association standards for apparatus in effect at the time of original manufacture, except that no loans shall be considered or made for apparatus that cannot meet the National Fire Protection Association standards in effect no more than 12 years prior to the date of the application for loan financing.

(3)  New equipment shall meet or exceed the standards in effect at the time of original manufacture.

(4)  Used equipment shall meet or exceed the standards in effect at the time of original manufacture, except that no loans for used equipment shall be considered or made for equipment more than five years old at the time of application for loan assistance.

(5)  In every instance, used equipment and apparatus shall meet the applicable National Fire Protection Association standards at the time that the loan funds are advanced.

"Office."  The Office of the State Fire Commissioner.

"Protective equipment."  Any equipment used by firefighters, volunteer ambulance service personnel or volunteer rescue service personnel to protect their person from injury while performing their functions, including, but not limited to, helmets, turnout coats and pants, boots, eyeshields, gloves and self-contained respiratory protection units.

"Rescue vehicle."  Any vehicle, whether a motor vehicle or a watercraft, used for rescue services.

"Utility or special service vehicle."  A vehicle carrying accessory equipment, including, but not limited to, ladders, oxygen equipment, generators and adaptors, floodlights, smoke ejectors and other equipment necessary to perform the ordinary functions of supporting firefighting activities.

"Volunteer ambulance service."  Any nonprofit chartered corporation, association or organization located in this Commonwealth and which is regularly engaged in the service of providing emergency medical care and transportation of patients.

"Volunteer fire company."  Any nonprofit chartered corporation, association or organization located in this Commonwealth which provides fire protection services and other voluntary emergency services within this Commonwealth. Voluntary emergency services provided by a volunteer fire company may include voluntary ambulance and voluntary rescue services.

"Volunteer rescue service."  Any nonprofit chartered corporation, association or organization located in this Commonwealth which provides rescue services in this Commonwealth.

"Volunteer Companies Loan Fund."  (Deleted by amendment).

35c7363v

(Dec. 23, 2013, P.L.1256, No.129, eff. 60 days; Oct. 29, 2020, P.L.  , No.91, eff. 60 days)

 

2020 Amendment.  Act 91 added the defs. of "emergency medical services company" or "EMS," "fire company," "fund" and "municipality" and deleted the def. of "Volunteer Companies Loan Fund."

2013 Amendment.  Act 129 added the defs. of "commissioner" and "office" and deleted the def. of "agency."

35c7364s

§ 7364.  Assistance to fire companies and EMS companies.

(a)  General rule.--The office is authorized, upon application of any fire company or EMS company, to make loans for the following purposes:

(1)  Establishing or modernizing facilities that house firefighting equipment, ambulance or rescue vehicles. The amount of a loan for establishing or modernizing facilities made to any one fire company or EMS company shall not exceed 50% of the total cost of the facilities or modernization or $450,000, whichever is less, and a notarized financial statement filed under subsection (c) shall show that the applicant has available 20% of the total cost of the facilities in unobligated funds. Proceeds of the loan shall be used only for purposes of structure or land acquisition or renovation or construction and shall not be used for payment of fees for design, planning, preparation of applications or any other cost not directly attributable to structure or land acquisition or renovation or construction.

(2)  Purchasing firefighting apparatus, ambulances or rescue vehicles. The amount of a loan made for purchasing firefighting apparatus to any one fire company shall not exceed $250,000 for any single firefighting apparatus equipment or utility or special service vehicle or heavy duty rescue vehicle as defined by regulation or guideline, or 50% of the total cost of the equipment or vehicle, whichever is less, except for loans for aerial apparatus as defined by regulation or guideline, which shall not exceed $350,000. The amount of a loan made to any one fire company or EMS company for any ambulance or light duty rescue vehicle as defined by regulation or guideline shall not exceed $125,000 and for a watercraft rescue vehicle shall not exceed $35,000 or 50% of the cost of the ambulance or rescue vehicle, whichever is less, and a notarized financial statement filed under subsection (c) shall show that the applicant has available 20% of the total cost of the vehicle in unobligated funds.

(3)  Purchasing protective, accessory or communication equipment. No fire company or EMS company shall receive a loan for protective, accessory or communicative equipment more than once in any five-year period. Each fire company or EMS company may apply for a loan for a mobile and portable radio unit for each existing serviceable apparatus equipment, ambulance or rescue vehicle. Radio equipment obtained through loans under this subchapter shall be equipped with a frequency or frequencies licensed by the Federal Communications Commission for firefighting or emergency response purposes. A notarized financial statement shall be filed and loans under this subchapter for the purchase of protective, accessory or communicative equipment shall not exceed $25,000.

(4)  Refinancing debt incurred or contracts entered into after November 4, 1975, and used for the purchase of apparatus equipment or for the construction or modernization of facilities or for modification of apparatus equipment in order to comply with National Fire Protection Association standards.

(5)  Repair or rehabilitation of apparatus equipment. Where it has been determined that existing apparatus equipment no longer meets the standards of the National Fire Protection Association and the repair or rehabilitation of such equipment will bring it in compliance with National Fire Protection Association standards, loans for the repair or rehabilitation for a single apparatus equipment shall be for at least $3,000 but shall not exceed the lesser of $80,000 or 80% of the total cost of repair or rehabilitation.

(6)  Purchasing of used firefighting apparatus, equipment, used ambulances, used rescue vehicles, used communications equipment, used accessory equipment or used protective equipment, except that the used vehicles and equipment shall meet the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards and loans for the purchase of a used single apparatus equipment shall not exceed $200,000 or 80% of the total cost of the equipment, whichever is less.

(7)  (Deleted by amendment).

(a.1)  Limitation.--Loans under this subchapter may be made for any of the purposes of subsection (a) undertaken by a fire company or EMS company on or after November 4, 1975.

(b)  Loans.--Loans made by the office in the amount of $50,000 or less shall be for a period of not more than ten years. Loans in excess of $50,000 but not in excess of $300,000 shall be for a period of not more than 15 years. The payback period of any loan in excess of $300,000 shall not exceed 20 years. Loans shall be subject to the payment of interest at 2% per year and shall be subject to such security as shall be determined by the commissioner. The total amount of interest earned by the investment or reinvestment of all or any part of the principal of any loan shall be returned to the office and transferred to the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Loan Fund and shall not be credited as payment of principal or interest on the loan. Except as provided in subsection (a)(5) and (7), the minimum amount of any loan shall be $25,000.

(b.1)  Inflation adjustment.--Beginning one year after the effective date of this subsection and biannually thereafter, all loan limits under this section shall increase at the rate of inflation as outlined in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD area for the most recent 12-month period for which the figures have been reported by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. If the rate of inflation does not increase, all loan limits shall remain the same as they were for the previous year. The office shall transmit notice of loan limit increases to the Legislative Reference Bureau for publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

(c)  Applications.--Every application for a loan shall be accompanied by a notarized financial statement of the fire company or EMS company and a financial plan to show the amount of assets and projected revenues for the repayment of the loan, any other obligations of the fire company or EMS company and operating expenses over the period of the loan. Every application shall be accompanied by evidence sufficient to show that all costs except the amount of the loan have been obtained by assets of the fire company or EMS company and other loans or sources of revenue. If a fire company or EMS company is unable to meet the 20% requirement of subsection (a), then a political subdivision which is served by the fire company or EMS company may pledge its credit in the amount of funds necessary to satisfy the 20% requirement and, if it does so, shall cosign the application submitted by the fire company or EMS company.

(c.1)  Application review committee.--The office shall establish an application review committee to review loan applications and recommendations on loan applications under this section. The application review committee shall regularly meet at least quarterly to review loan applications and make recommendations on loan applications to the office. The application review committee shall be chaired by the commissioner or the commissioner's designee and include the following members:

(1)  The chair of the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee of the Senate or the chair's designee.

(2)  The minority chair of the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee of the Senate or the minority chair's designee.

(3)  The chair of the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee of the House of Representatives or the chair's designee.

(4)  The minority chair of the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee of the House of Representatives or the minority chair's designee.

(5)  The director of the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services in the Department of Health or the director's designee.

(6)  A representative of the Pennsylvania Fire and Emergency Services Institute.

(7)  A representative of the Firemen's Association of the State of Pennsylvania.

(8)  A representative of the Ambulance Association of Pennsylvania.

(9)  A representative of the Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council.

(d)  Use.--Loans shall be used for the acquisition by fire companies or EMS companies of new or used apparatus equipment, new or used ambulances, new or used rescue vehicles, new or used communications equipment, new or used accessory equipment or new or used protective equipment or for the acquisition and renovation of existing structures to house firefighting equipment, ambulance or rescue vehicles or for the construction or modernization of facilities and, except as provided in subsection (a)(4), shall not be used for operating expenses or for the refinancing of renovated structures, refinancing of construction or modernization of facilities, apparatus equipment, communication equipment, accessory equipment, nor, except as provided in subsection (a)(4), shall be made or used to reduce any debt or other obligations issued prior to the effective date of this subchapter.

(e)  Payment.--Loans made by the office shall be paid from the fund to the fire companies and EMS companies in accordance with guidelines and procedures developed by the office.

(f)  Deposit.--All payments of interest on the loans and the principal thereof shall be deposited by the office in the fund.

(g)  Eligibility.--A fire company or EMS company shall be eligible for a loan regardless of legal ownership in whole or in part by any political subdivision of any facilities or apparatus equipment used by the fire company or EMS company. Any equipment or facilities financed may be transferred to a political subdivision served by the fire company or EMS company subject to such security as shall be determined by the commissioner.

(h)  Maximum amount.--Notwithstanding any other provision of this section to the contrary, the maximum amount of any loan to a fire company or EMS company for the purchase of firefighting apparatus, ambulances or rescue vehicles manufactured or assembled in this Commonwealth, may exceed the loan limits set forth in this section by $20,000.

(i)  Aggregation of loans.--

(1)  Subject to paragraph (2), a fire company or EMS company shall not be eligible for more than three loans at one time.

(2)  If more than one fire company or EMS company merge or consolidate into a single entity, as determined by the commissioner, the entity shall be eligible for not more than ten loans at one time for a period of ten years from the date of the merger or consolidation.

35c7364v

(Dec. 23, 2013, P.L.1256, No.129, eff. 60 days; Oct. 29, 2020, P.L.  , No.91, eff. 60 days)

35c7365s

§ 7365.  Fire and Emergency Medical Services Loan Fund.

(a)  General rule.--There is created a special fund in the Treasury Department to be known as the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Loan Fund to which shall be credited all appropriations made by the General Assembly other than appropriations for expenses of administering this subchapter or grants from other sources to the office as well as repayment of principal and interest on loans made under this subchapter.

(b)  Requisition.--Upon approval of the loan, the commissioner shall routinely requisition from the fund such amounts as shall be allocated by the office for loans to fire companies or EMS companies. When and as the amounts so allocated as loans to fire companies or EMS companies are repaid pursuant to the terms of the agreements made and entered into with the office, the office shall pay such amounts into the fund, it being the intent of this subchapter that the fund shall operate as a revolving fund whereby all appropriations and payments made thereto may be applied and reapplied to the purposes of this subchapter.

(c)  Administration.--The commissioner may use up to 50% of the interest payments, but not in excess of $600,000, for administrative costs on an annual basis.

35c7365v

(June 29, 2012, P.L.663, No.78, eff. imd.; Dec. 23, 2013, P.L.1256, No.129, eff. 60 days; Oct. 29, 2020, P.L.  , No.91, eff. 60 days)

 

Cross References.  Section 7365 is referred to in sections 7363, 7376 of this title.

35c7366s

§ 7366.  Powers and duties of office.

(a)  Mandatory.--The office has the following duties:

(1)  To appoint agents and employees necessary to the administration of this subchapter and to prescribe their duties and to fix their compensation within the limitations provided by law.

(2)  To accept grants from the Federal Government and any other individual, agency or government for use in the fund.

(3)  To loan money over a term of years, but in no case in excess of 20 years.

(3.1)  To establish criteria to determine need for firefighting apparatus, ambulances and rescue vehicles and to establish guidelines and procedures for fire companies or EMS companies to show just cause to determine that need.

(4)  To promulgate regulations and develop guidelines and procedures as it deems necessary to carry out its powers and duties under this subchapter.

(b)  Discretionary.--The office has the following powers:

(1)  To require security for all loans.

(2)  To specify priority of liens against any facilities, apparatus equipment, ambulances, rescue vehicles or any equipment purchased by fire companies using funds loaned under this subchapter to pay all or any part of the purchase price, as the office may require by established guidelines and procedures. The commissioner may specify the type of liens or collateral authorized as security under this paragraph.

(3)  To reject a loan application based on the criteria established under subsection (a).

35c7366v

(Dec. 23, 2013, P.L.1256, No.129, eff. 60 days; Oct. 29, 2020, P.L.  , No.91, eff. 60 days)

 

2020 Amendment.  Act 91 amended subsecs. (a)(2) and (3.1) and (b)(2).

2013 Amendment.  Act 129 amended the section heading, subsecs. (a) intro. par. and (4) and (b) intro. par. and (2) and added subsecs. (a)(3.1) and (b)(3).

35c7367s

§ 7367.  Authority to borrow.

Under the provisions of section 7(a)(3) of Article VIII of the Constitution of Pennsylvania and the referenda approved by the electorate on November 4, 1975, November 3, 1981, November 6, 1990, and November 5, 2002, the Governor, Auditor General and State Treasurer are authorized and directed to borrow, on the credit of the Commonwealth, money not exceeding in the aggregate the sum of $100,000,000 to implement this subchapter, the act of September 25, 1975 (P.L.296, No.95), entitled "An act authorizing the indebtedness, with the approval of the electors, of ten million dollars for loans to volunteer fire companies, volunteer ambulance services and volunteer rescue squads for the purpose of establishing or modernizing facilities to house fire fighting apparatus equipment, ambulances, and rescue vehicles, and for purchasing new fire fighting apparatus equipment, ambulances, and rescue vehicles, protective and communications equipment, and any other accessory equipment necessary for the proper performance of such organizations' duties," and the act of June 30, 1981 (P.L.138, No.44), entitled "An act authorizing the indebtedness, with the approval of the electors, of $15,000,000 for loans to volunteer fire companies, volunteer ambulance services and volunteer rescue squads for the purpose of establishing or modernizing facilities to house firefighting apparatus equipment, ambulances, and rescue vehicles, and for purchasing firefighting apparatus equipment, ambulances, and rescue vehicles, protective and communications equipment, and any other accessory equipment necessary for the proper performance of such organizations' duties," as well as to implement in part section 31.3 of the act of June 29, 2002 (P.L.559, No.89), entitled "An act amending the act of March 4, 1971 (P.L.6, No.2), entitled 'An act relating to tax reform and State taxation by codifying and enumerating certain subjects of taxation and imposing taxes thereon; providing procedures for the payment, collection, administration and enforcement thereof; providing for tax credits in certain cases; conferring powers and imposing duties upon the Department of Revenue, certain employers, fiduciaries, individuals, persons, corporations and other entities; prescribing crimes, offenses and penalties,' further providing, in sales and use tax, for definitions, for imposition, for exclusions, for licenses, for collection, for bulk and auction sales and for crimes; providing, in local tax situs, for situs of mobile telecommunications services; further providing, in personal income tax, for definitions, for classes of income, for special tax provisions for poverty, for contributions, for bulk and auction sales and transfers; in corporate net income tax, for definitions, for imposition and for interest in unincorporated entities; and in capital stock and franchise tax, for definitions, for imposition, for deposit of proceeds, for interest in unincorporated entities and for applicability and expiration; establishing revenue-neutral reconciliation in utilities gross receipts tax; providing, in public utility realty tax and for surcharge; further providing, in realty transfer tax, for furnishing stamps; in cigarette tax, for incidence and rate, for floor tax, for commissions on sales and for disposition of certain funds; in research and development tax credit, for time limitations and for termination; in inheritance tax, for definitions, for transfers not subject to tax and for estate tax and for estate tax returns; providing for immediate assessment, settlement or collection and for depreciation of certain property in cities of the first class; and making repeals."

35c7367v

 

Cross References.  Section 7367 is referred to in section 7378.4 of this title.

35c7368s

§ 7368.  Bonds, issue, maturity and interest.

(a)  General rule.--As evidence of the indebtedness authorized by this subchapter, general obligation bonds of the Commonwealth shall be issued from time to time for such total amounts, in such form, in such denominations and subject to such terms and conditions of issue, redemption and maturity, rate or rates of interest and time of payment of interest, as the Governor, Auditor General and State Treasurer shall direct, except that the latest stated maturity date shall not exceed 30 years from the date of the bond first issued for each series.

(b)  Facsimile signatures.--All bonds issued under the authority of this subchapter shall bear facsimile signatures of the Governor, Auditor General and State Treasurer and a facsimile of the Great Seal of the Commonwealth and shall be countersigned by two duly authorized officers of the duly authorized loan and transfer agents of the Commonwealth.

(c)  Direct obligations.--All bonds issued in accordance with this subchapter shall be direct obligations of the Commonwealth, and the full faith and credit of the Commonwealth are hereby pledged for the payment of the interest thereon as the same shall become due and the payment of the principal thereof at maturity. All bonds issued under this subchapter shall be exempt from taxation for State and local purposes. The principal of and interest on such bonds shall be payable in lawful money of the United States.

(d)  Types of bonds.--Bonds may be issued as coupon bonds or registered as to both principal and interest as the issuing officials may determine. If interest coupons are attached, they shall contain the facsimile signature of the State Treasurer.

(e)  Authorization.--The issuing officials shall provide for the amortization of the bonds in substantial and regular amounts over the term of the debt, except that the first retirement of principal shall be stated to mature prior to the expiration of a period of time equal to one-tenth of the time from the date of the first obligation issue to evidence such debt to the date of the expiration of the term of the debt. Retirements of principal shall be regular and substantial if made in annual or semiannual amounts whether by stated serial maturities or by mandatory sinking fund retirements computed in accordance with either a level annual debt service plan, as nearly as may be, or upon the equal annual maturities plan.

(f)  Preparation and printing.--The Governor, the Auditor General and the State Treasurer shall have the necessary bonds prepared and printed. Upon preparation and printing, the bonds immediately shall be deposited with the duly authorized loan and transfer agent of the Commonwealth and shall remain in the agent's possession until sold in accordance with this subchapter.

35c7369s

§ 7369.  Sale of bonds.

(a)  General rule.--Bonds shall be offered for sale at not less than 98% of the principal amount and accrued interest and shall be sold by the Governor, the Auditor General and State Treasurer to the highest and best bidder or bidders after due public advertisement, on such terms and conditions and upon such open competitive bidding, as the Governor, Auditor General and State Treasurer shall direct. The manner and character of advertisement and the times of advertising shall be prescribed by the Governor, the Auditor General and the State Treasurer.

(b)  Private sale.--Any portion of any bond issue so offered and not sold or subscribed for may be disposed of by private sale by the Governor, the Auditor General and the State Treasurer in such manner and at such prices, not less than 98% of the principal amount and accrued interest, as the Governor shall direct. No commission shall be allowed or paid for the sale of any bonds issued under the authority of this subchapter.

(c)  Series.--When bonds are issued from time to time, the bonds of each issue shall constitute a separate series to be designated by the issuing officials or may be combined for sale as one series with other general obligation bonds of the Commonwealth.

35c7370s

§ 7370.  Refunding bonds.

The Governor, Auditor General and the State Treasurer are authorized to provide, by resolution, for the issuance of refunding bonds for the purpose of refunding any bonds issued under this subchapter and then outstanding, either by voluntary exchange with the holders of the outstanding bonds or by providing funds to redeem and retire such outstanding bonds with accrued interest and any premium payable thereon, at maturity or at any call date. The issuance of such refunding bonds, the maturities and other details thereof, the rights of the holders thereof and the duties of the Governor, Auditor General and the State Treasurer in respect to the same shall be governed by this subchapter, insofar as this subchapter may be applicable. Refunding bonds may be issued by the Governor, Auditor General and the State Treasurer to refund bonds originally issued or to refund bonds previously issued for refunding purposes.

35c7371s

§ 7371.  Disposition and use of proceeds.

(a)  General rule.--The proceeds realized from the sale of bonds under this subchapter shall be paid into the fund and are specifically dedicated to the purposes of the referenda of November 4, 1975, November 3, 1981, November 6, 1990, and November 5, 2002, and the referendum specified under section 7378.4 (relating to referendum to expand loan assistance), as implemented by this subchapter. The moneys shall be paid by the State Treasurer periodically to those agencies or authorities authorized to expend the moneys at such times and in such amounts as may be necessary to satisfy the funding needs of the agency or authority.

(b)  Investing.--Pending their application to the purposes authorized, moneys held or deposited by the State Treasurer may be invested or reinvested as are other funds in the custody of the State Treasurer in the manner provided by law. All earnings received from the investment or deposit of such funds shall be paid into the State treasury to the credit of the fund.

35c7371v

(Oct. 29, 2020, P.L.  , No.91, eff. 60 days)

35c7372s

§ 7372.  Registration of bonds.

The Auditor General shall prepare the necessary registry book to be kept in the office of the duly authorized loan and transfer agent of the Commonwealth for the registration of any bonds, at the request of owners thereof, according to the terms and conditions of issue directed by the Governor, the Auditor General and the State Treasurer. All bonds which are issued without interest coupons attached shall be registered in the registry books kept by the duly authorized loan and transfer agent of the Commonwealth.

35c7373s

§ 7373.  Information to General Assembly.

It shall be the duty of the Governor to include in every budget submitted to the General Assembly full information relating to the issuance of bonds under this subchapter and the status of the sinking fund of the Commonwealth for the payment of the interest on said bonds and the principal thereof at maturity.

35c7374s

§ 7374.  Fire and Emergency Medical Services Loan Sinking Fund and investments.

All bonds issued under this subchapter shall be redeemed at maturity and all interest due from time to time on such bonds shall be paid from the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Loan Sinking Fund, which is hereby created. For the specific purpose of redeeming bonds issued under this subchapter at maturity and paying all interest thereon in accordance with the information received from the Governor, the General Assembly shall appropriate moneys to the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Loan Sinking Fund for the payment of interest on such bonds and the principal thereof at maturity. All moneys paid into the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Loan Sinking Fund and all of such moneys not necessary to pay accruing interest shall be invested by the Board of Finance and Revenue in such securities as are provided by law for the investment of the sinking funds of the Commonwealth.

35c7374v

(Oct. 29, 2020, P.L.  , No.91, eff. 60 days)

35c7375s

§ 7375.  Expenses of preparation, issue and sale of bonds.

There is appropriated to the State Treasurer from the proceeds of the bonds issued as much moneys as may be necessary for all costs and expenses in connection with the issue of and sale and registration of the bonds in connection with this subchapter.

35c7376s

§ 7376.  Repayment obligations for principal and interest.

The General Assembly shall appropriate an amount equal to moneys received from the office under section 7365 (relating to Fire and Emergency Medical Services Loan Fund) and such other moneys as may be necessary to meet repayment obligations for principal and interest into the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Loan Sinking Fund.

35c7376v

(Dec. 23, 2013, P.L.1256, No.129, eff. 60 days; Oct. 29, 2020, P.L.  , No.91, eff. 60 days)

35c7377s

§ 7377.  Quorum.

Whenever under this subchapter an action is to be taken or a decision is to be made by the Governor, the Auditor General and the State Treasurer, and the three officers shall not be able to agree unanimously, the action or decision of the Governor and either the Auditor General or State Treasurer shall be binding and final.

35c7378s

§ 7378.  Temporary financing authorization.

(a)  General rule.--Pending the issuance of bonds of the Commonwealth, the Governor, Auditor General and State Treasurer are authorized on the credit of the Commonwealth to make temporary borrowings of such moneys as may from time to time be necessary to carry out the purposes of this subchapter and are authorized in the name and on behalf of the Commonwealth to enter into loan or credit agreements with any banks or trust companies or other lending institutions or persons in the United States having power to enter into the same.

(b)  Notes.--All temporary borrowings made under the authority of this section shall be evidenced by notes of the Commonwealth, which shall be issued from time to time for such amounts not exceeding in the aggregate the sum of $100,000,000 in such form and in such denominations, and subject to such terms and conditions of issue, prepayment or redemption and maturity, rate of interest and time of payment of interest, as the issuing officials shall direct. All notes issued under the authority of this section shall bear the facsimile signatures of the issuing officials and a facsimile of the Great Seal of the Commonwealth and shall be countersigned by one duly authorized officer of a duly authorized loan and transfer agent of the Commonwealth.

(c)  Funding of notes.--All such notes shall be funded and retired by the issuance and sale of bonds of the Commonwealth to the extent that payment of such notes has not otherwise been made or provided for.

(d)  Proceeds.--The proceeds of all such temporary borrowings shall be paid into the fund.

35c7378v

(Oct. 29, 2020, P.L.  , No.91, eff. 60 days)

 

2020 Amendment.  Act 91 amended subsec. (d).

35c7378.1s

§ 7378.1.  Referendum for additional indebtedness.

The following shall apply:

(1)  The question of incurring indebtedness of $25,000,000 for loans to volunteer fire companies, volunteer ambulance services and volunteer rescue squads for the purpose of establishing or modernizing facilities to house firefighting apparatus equipment, ambulances and rescue vehicles, and for purchasing firefighting apparatus equipment, ambulances and rescue vehicles, protective and communications equipment and any other accessory equipment necessary for the proper performance of such organizations' duties, shall be submitted to the electors at the next primary, municipal or general election held after July 15, 1976.

(2)  The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall forthwith certify the question to the county boards of election.

(3)  The question shall be in substantially the following form:

Do you favor the incurring of indebtedness of $25,000,000 for loans to volunteer fire companies, volunteer ambulance services and volunteer rescue squads for the purpose of establishing or modernizing facilities to house firefighting apparatus equipment, ambulances and rescue vehicles, and for purchasing firefighting apparatus equipment, ambulances and rescue vehicles, protective and communications equipment, and any other accessory equipment necessary for the proper performance of such organizations' duties?

(4)  The election shall be conducted in accordance with the act of June 3, 1937 (P.L.1333, No.320), known as the Pennsylvania Election Code, except that the time limits for advertisement of notice of the election may be waived as to the question.

(5)  Proceeds of borrowing shall be used through loans to volunteer fire companies, volunteer ambulance services and volunteer rescue squads pursuant to and for any purpose established by this subchapter.

35c7378.1v

 

Cross References.  Section 7378.1 is referred to in section 7378.4 of this title.

35c7378.2s

§ 7378.2.  Authorization of contracts, reimbursement procedure and amount.

The following shall apply:

(1)  The Secretary of General Services is authorized to enter into contracts with local fire companies or emergency medical services companies to provide services necessary to extinguish fires or perform any other allied services on State-owned property.

(2)  The Secretary of Transportation is authorized to enter into contracts with local fire companies or emergency medical services companies to provide services necessary to extinguish fires or perform any other allied services on limited access highways, other than the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

35c7378.2v

(Oct. 29, 2020, P.L.  , No.91, eff. 60 days)

35c7378.3s

§ 7378.3.  Reimbursement procedure and amount.

The following shall apply:

(1)  A contract between the Secretary of General Services or the Secretary of Transportation and a local fire company or emergency medical services company shall provide that the Department of General Services or the Department of Transportation shall, monthly, upon receipt of proper proof, reimburse each contracted fire company or emergency medical services company attending and providing fire control or other allied services on State-owned property or limited access highways, as the case may be, a minimum amount of $50 for each verified fire or emergency call and the cost of any special extinguishing agents utilized, which the fire company or emergency medical services company made in the preceding month as certified by the person in charge at the particular State-owned property or by an individual or individuals designated by the Secretary of Transportation to verify services rendered on limited access highways.

(2)  A contract between the Department of General Services or the Department of Transportation and an emergency medical services company shall also provide that the emergency medical services company request reimbursement from collectible insurance proceeds available as a result of the fire or emergency situation for which the emergency medical services company provided allied services. Proceeds payable to the emergency medical services company shall be deducted from the reimbursement for services provided pursuant to a contract entered into under this subchapter. Prior to payment for services rendered, the emergency medical services company shall provide proof that they requested reimbursement from collectible insurance proceeds.

(3)  A false alarm on State-owned property to which a fire company or emergency medical services company responds shall constitute a fire or emergency call and shall be reimbursed at a rate set by the contract with the Secretary of General Services, but shall not be less than $25 for each occurrence.

35c7378.3v

(Oct. 29, 2020, P.L.  , No.91, eff. 60 days)

35c7378.4s

§ 7378.4.  Referendum to expand loan assistance.

(a)  Referendum.--The question of expanding the use of the indebtedness authorized under sections 7367 (relating to authority to borrow) and 7378.1 (relating to referendum for additional indebtedness) for volunteer loan assistance under this subchapter to include municipal fire departments or fire companies and emergency medical services companies for the purpose of establishing and modernizing facilities to house apparatus equipment, ambulances and rescue vehicles, protective and communications equipment and any other accessory equipment necessary for the proper performance of such organizations' duties shall be submitted to the electorate at the next primary, municipal or general election held after November 3, 2020.

(b)  Certification.--The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall certify the question to the county boards of election.

(c)  Question to the electorate.--The question shall be in substantially the following form:

Do you favor expanding the use of the indebtedness authorized under the referendum for loans to volunteer fire companies, volunteer ambulance services and volunteer rescue squads under 35 Pa.C.S. § 7378.1 (relating to referendum for additional indebtedness) to include loans to municipal fire departments or companies that provide services through paid personnel and emergency medical services companies for the purpose of establishing and modernizing facilities to house apparatus equipment, ambulances and rescue vehicles, protective and communications equipment and any other accessory equipment necessary for the proper performance of the duties of the fire companies and emergency medical services companies?

(d)  Election procedure.--The referendum under this section shall be conducted in accordance with the act of June 3, 1937 (P.L.1333, No.320), known as the Pennsylvania Election Code.

(e)  Construction.--This section shall not be construed as authorizing any additional borrowing for loan assistance to fire companies or emergency medical services companies.

35c7378.4v

(Oct. 29, 2020, P.L.  , No.91, eff. 60 days)

 

2020 Amendment.  Act 91 added section 7378.4.

Cross References.  Section 7378.4 is referred to in section 7371 of this title.

35c7378.5s

§ 7378.5.  Annual report and distribution of information.

(a)  Annual report.--

(1)  The office shall produce an annual report, which shall include all of the following information:

(i)  How much money is in the fund at the beginning of each fiscal year and the balance in the fund at the end of each fiscal year.

(ii)  How many loan applications were received by the office.

(iii)  How many loans were issued under the Pennsylvania Fire and Emergency Medical Services Loan Program.

(iv)  The fire companies and EMS companies to which the loans were issued by the office.

(v)  The total amount of loans issued by the office.

(vi)  The number and amount of loans for facilities, apparatus and equipment.

(2)  The report shall be posted on the office's publicly accessible Internet website and sent to all of the following:

(i)  The chair and minority chair of the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee of the Senate.

(ii)  The chair and minority chair of the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee of the House of Representatives.

(b)  Distribution.--The office shall annually distribute information on the fund to all fire companies and emergency medical services companies in this Commonwealth, including notice of the Pennsylvania Fire and Emergency Medical Services Loan Program and the amounts that can be borrowed under the program.

35c7378.5v

(Oct. 29, 2020, P.L.  , No.91, eff. 60 days)

 

2020 Amendment.  Act 91 added section 7378.5.

35c7381h

 

 

SUBCHAPTER F

STATE FIRE COMMISSIONER

 

Sec.

7381.  Scope of subchapter.

7382.  Definitions.

7383.  State Fire Commissioner.

7383.1. Curriculum and training.

7384.  Pennsylvania State Fire Academy.

7385.  Pennsylvania Fire and Emergency Medical Services Loan Program.

7386.  State Fire Advisory Board.

7387.  Appropriations.

7388.  Online training for firefighters.

 

Enactment.  Subchapter F was added November 23, 2010, P.L.1181, No.118, effective January 1, 2011.

Special Provisions in Appendix.  See section 7(b.1)(13) of Act 118 of 2010 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to continuation of prior law.

Cross References.  Subchapter F is referred to in sections 7381, 7382, 7713 of this title.

35c7381s

§ 7381.  Scope of subchapter.

This subchapter relates to the State Fire Commissioner.

35c7382s

§ 7382.  Definitions.

The following words and phrases when used in this subchapter shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Agency."  The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.

"Board."  The State Fire Advisory Board.

"Commissioner."  The State Fire Commissioner.

"Committee."  (Deleted by amendment).

35c7382v

(Oct. 29, 2020, P.L.  , No.91, eff. 60 days)

35c7383s

§ 7383.  State Fire Commissioner.

(a)  State Fire Commissioner.--There shall be a State Fire Commissioner, who shall report to the Governor on all matters concerning fire services in this Commonwealth. The Office of the State Fire Commissioner shall be within the agency for administrative purposes only, and the commissioner shall not report to the director of the agency. The commissioner shall have the power and duty to:

(1)  Serve as the primary representative for fire services in this Commonwealth. The commissioner shall work with Federal agencies to ensure coordination at the State and local levels.

(2)  Serve as chair of the board.

(3)  Develop curriculum and provide and assist in the coordination of fire, rescue and emergency services training, including online training and issue certifications.

(4)  Administer the State Fire Academy.

(5)  Collect data, provide analysis and periodic reports and serve as a focal point for information relative to fires, property damage, injuries to the public and firefighters and the loss of life.

(6)  Conduct after-action reports on significant incidents that involve firefighter deaths and significant injuries.

(7)  Administer grant and loan programs for fire, ambulance and rescue organizations in accordance with this title or as otherwise provided by law, including assistance for firefighter relief associations, the Pennsylvania Fire and Emergency Medical Services Loan Program, fire and emergency medical services loan assistance, fire and emergency medical services grants and money received by the Office of State Fire Commissioner from the Unconventional Gas Well Fund.

(8)  Assist with Statewide recruitment and retention efforts.

(9)  Hire regional technical advisors to assist fire companies with grant and loan assistance, mergers, consolidation and regionalization and promote best practices for systems improvements.

(10)  Promote public education and community risk reduction efforts.

(11)  Administer a fire equipment distributor certification program as provided by law.

(b)  Transfer.--(Deleted by amendment).

(c)  Qualifications and appointment.--The commissioner shall be a person who, by reason of training, experience and attainment, is qualified to coordinate services. The commissioner shall have served as a chief officer or administrative officer in a municipal, combination or volunteer fire company. The commissioner shall be appointed by the Governor subject to the consent of a majority of the members elected to the Senate.

35c7383v

(Oct. 29, 2020, P.L.  , No.91)

 

2020 Amendment.  Act 170 amended the entire section, effective January 1, 2022, as to subsec. (c) and 60 days as to the remainder of the section.

35c7383.1s

§ 7383.1.  Curriculum and training.

(a)  Duty to establish guidelines.--The commissioner shall establish guidelines for the development, delivery and maintenance of a system of fire and emergency services training.

(b)  Training.--Training shall be lecture-based, hands on or online. Training may be conducted at the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy, a county training center, a community college, a local fire station or other appropriate area. The training shall be incorporated into the Train PA system or any other system approved by the commissioner.

(c)  Certificate of completion.--The commissioner shall provide a certificate of completion to an individual who successfully completes a fire or emergency services training program.

(d)  Publication.--The commissioner shall post a complete listing of the available fire and emergency services training courses on the office's publicly accessible Internet website.

35c7383.1v

(Oct. 29, 2020, P.L.  , No.91, eff. 60 days)

 

2020 Amendment.  Act 91 added section 7383.1.

35c7384s

§ 7384.  Pennsylvania State Fire Academy.

(a)  Creation.--There is created the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy, which shall be under the operational control of the commissioner. The commissioner shall administratively provide for the erection or construction, the furnishing, the staffing and the equipping of buildings and structures through the Department of General Services and for the leasing thereof by the Commonwealth for the use and support of the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy.

(b)  Transfer.--(Deleted by amendment).

(c)  Hazardous chemical and radioactive material training.--The Pennsylvania State Fire Academy shall serve as the resident Commonwealth government center for hazardous chemical and radioactive material training. The Pennsylvania State Fire Academy is authorized to use resident and field staff to support this training.

(d)  Firefighter training and certification.--A Statewide firefighter training program shall be implemented by the commissioner. The program shall also include a firefighter certification program in accordance with established standards. The acquisition of physical resources to enhance Statewide capability shall be coordinated by the commissioner.

(e)  Administration.--

(1)  The commissioner may assess reasonable fees on for-profit corporations and businesses and on students who are nonresidents of this Commonwealth for fire, rescue and emergency service training programs provided to them by the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy, but in no event shall any member of a municipal or volunteer fire, rescue, ambulance or other emergency service organization located within this Commonwealth be charged for training provided at the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy.

(2)  The commissioner may charge all students for class materials and supplies directly related to the conduct of classes provided at the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy and for insignia, patches and similar memorabilia indicating student attendance or achievement at the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy.

(3)  All revenues generated by these fees and charges shall augment the appropriation made to the Office of the State Fire Commissioner.

35c7384v

(Oct. 29, 2020, P.L.  , No.91, eff. 60 days)

 

2020 Amendment.  Act 91 amended subsecs. (a) and (d) and deleted subsec. (b).

35c7385s

§ 7385.  Pennsylvania Fire and Emergency Medical Services Loan Program.

(a)  Creation.--There shall be a loan program, which shall be implemented by the commissioner, for fire companies and emergency medical services companies, known as the Pennsylvania Fire and Emergency Medical Services Loan Program, which shall make loans under Subchapter E (relating to Fire and Emergency Medical Services Loan Program).

(b)  Transfer.--There are transferred to the commissioner, to be used, employed and expended in connection with the functions, powers and duties enumerated in subsection (a), personnel, contractual obligations, if any, mortgages, liens, encumbrances and any other secured interests, records, files, property, supplies and equipment now being used or held in connection with such functions, powers and duties and the unexpended balance of appropriations, allocations and other funds available or to be made available for use in connection with such functions, powers and duties as previously were vested in the Department of Community Affairs under Subchapter E and transferred to the agency by Reorganization Plan No.7 of 1981 (P.L.615).

(c)  Regulations.--(Deleted by amendment).

35c7385v

(Oct. 7, 2020, P.L.  , No.91, eff. 60 days)

 

2020 Amendment.  Act 91 amended the section heading and subsec. (a) and deleted subsec. (c).

35c7386s

§ 7386.  State Fire Advisory Board.

(a)  Creation.--

(1)  There is created the State Fire Advisory Board to assist the commissioner. The board shall consist of the following members:

(i)  The commissioner, who shall serve as chairperson.

(ii)  The President of the Pennsylvania Professional Firefighters Association or a designee.

(iii)  The President of the Pennsylvania Career Fire Chiefs Association or a designee.

(iv)  The President of the Pennsylvania Fire and Emergency Services Institute or a designee.

(v)  Ten firefighters appointed by the Governor, to whom the following shall apply:

(A)  One member shall be the President, or designee of the President, of the International Association of Firefighters in a fire company in a city of the first class, second class or third class with a population of at least 115,000 based on the most recent census, so long as the fire company is not a member of the Pennsylvania Professional Firefighters Association.

(B)  Except for the member under clause (A), the following apply:

(I)  One member shall be a certified fire service instructor.

(II)  Members shall be:

(a)  current members of a fire company or currently serving or have served within the past five years as a chief officer or administrative officer of a fire company; and

(b)  certified as Firefighter I or its equivalent.

(III)  One member shall be selected from each of the following regions:

(a)  Region 1 - Crawford, Erie, Forest, Venango and Warren Counties.

(b)  Region 2 - Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Mercer, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland Counties.

(c)  Region 3 - Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson and McKean Counties.

(d)  Region 4 - Bedford, Blair, Centre, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Mifflin and Snyder Counties.

(e)  Region 5 - Bradford, Clinton, Lycoming, Potter, Sullivan, Tioga and Union Counties.

(f)  Region 6 - Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry and York Counties.

(g)  Region 7 - Berks, Columbia, Luzerne, Montour, Northumberland, Schuylkill and Wyoming Counties.

(h)  Region 8 - Carbon, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Monroe, Northampton, Pike, Susquehanna and Wayne Counties.

(i)  Region 9 - Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties.

(2)  Members of the board shall serve at the pleasure of their appointing authority.

(3)  The chairperson and minority chairperson of the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee of the Senate and the chairperson and minority chairperson of the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee of the House of Representatives, or their designees, shall serve as nonvoting members of the board.

(4)  The Governor shall appoint the following as nonvoting members of the board:

(i)  The director of the agency.

(ii)  The Director of the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services of the Department of Health.

(iii)  Representatives of the following:

(A)  The Pennsylvania Association of Hazardous Materials Technicians.

(B)  The Pennsylvania Association of Fire Equipment Distributors.

(C)  The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania.

(D)  The Pennsylvania Municipal League.

(E)  The Pennsylvania State Association of Township Commissioners.

(F)  The Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors.

(G)  The Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs.

(H)  The Pennsylvania Association of Councils of Governments.

(I)  Trade associations.

(J)  Fire equipment and apparatus vendors.

(K)  Members of the public.

(5)  Members of the board initially appointed by the Governor under paragraph (1)(v) shall serve an initial term of two years as designated by the Governor at the time of appointment. Upon the expiration of the initial term of office of each member of the board as appointed under paragraph (1)(v), the member shall hold office for a term of four years and may continue to hold office for a period of time not to exceed six months or until a successor is appointed and qualified, whichever occurs first. Upon the death, resignation or removal from office of any person so appointed, the Governor shall appoint a competent person to serve for the unexpired term.

(6)  Upon the completion of a member's term who was appointed under paragraph (1)(v)(A), the Governor shall not appoint the succeeding member from the same class of city as the previous two outgoing members.

(b)  Expenses.--Members of the board shall receive reimbursement for reasonable travel and other necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties in accordance with Commonwealth regulations.

(c)  Meetings.--The board shall meet at least quarterly or at the times and places as called upon by the commissioner. All meetings of the board shall comply with 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7 (relating to open meetings).

(d)  Duties.--The board shall advise the commissioner on matters pertaining to the following:

(1)  Legislation.

(2)  Innovative programming.

(3)  Standards of cover for municipalities.

(4)  Operation of the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy.

(5)  Any other matters as the commissioner may request or as directed by the General Assembly.

35c7386v

(Oct. 29, 2020, P.L.  , No.91, eff. 60 days)

35c7387s

§ 7387.  Appropriations.

All appropriations for the commissioner shall be by a separate line item in the General Appropriation Act.

35c7388s

§ 7388.  Online training for firefighters.

(a)  Duty to establish guidelines.--The commissioner shall establish guidelines for the development, delivery and maintenance of an online system of firefighter training for firefighters. The guidelines shall state, at a minimum, that the training is voluntary and offered free of charge.

(b)  Prioritization training program.--The training program shall be incorporated into the Train PA system or any other system approved by the commissioner, and the courses or programs offered must be, to the greatest extent possible, courses or programs that do not require hands-on or field training and provide, at a minimum, basic-level training for firefighters.

(c)  Prioritization.--In establishing online training courses, the commissioner shall prioritize specific topics.

(d)  Certificate of completion.--The commissioner shall provide a certificate of completion to a firefighter who successfully completes an online firefighter training program.

(e)  Publication.--The Office of the State Fire Commissioner shall post a complete listing of the available online firefighter training courses on the office's publicly accessible Internet website.

(f)  Funding.--The commissioner shall use money in the Online Training Educator and Training Reimbursement Account established under section 2413(a)(2) of the act of March 4, 1971 (P.L.6, No.2), known as the Tax Reform Code of 1971, for the purpose of administering this section.

(g)  Reporting.--By December 31 each year, the commissioner shall provide a written report detailing the use of the Online Training Educator and Training Reimbursement Account from the prior fiscal year to the chairperson and minority chairperson of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee of the Senate, the chairperson and minority chairperson of the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee of the Senate, the chairperson and minority chairperson of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives and the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee of the House of Representatives.

35c7388v

(Nov. 27, 2019, P.L.737, No.106, eff. 60 days)

 

2019 Amendment.  Act 106 added section 7388.