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05/26/2024 11:16 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20210&cosponId=37539
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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: June 28, 2022 10:47 AM
From: Representative Frank A. Farry and Rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver, Rep. F. Todd Polinchock, Rep. Jim Rigby, Rep. Shelby Labs
To: All House members
Subject: Legislation – Bill Package utilizing funding from the Fireworks Tax for Fire and EMS Programs
 
In the near future, we intend to introduce a package of bills creating financial and educational assistance for first responders, further providing for public safety.  This package of legislation will utilize revenue collected from the existing Fireworks tax.

House Bill 612, which is currently in the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee will be part of the package going forward but will be modified to include reimbursement to be used towards loan forgiveness.

First responders are always at the forefront of each incident or disaster, and they ensure the safety and wellbeing of the citizens in the Commonwealth.  Through this package, responders’ ability to address emergencies will improve through education access and training with additional resources.  The purpose of this program is to provide the ability of first responders to enhance their specialized training and support their critical needs.  For these reasons we are proposing a bill package designed to better provide for our dedicated firefighters who sacrifice daily to protect the health and safety of our citizens.

Please consider supporting this important package of bills to support our first responder community by improving and enhancing access to training and education.
 



Document #1

Introduced as HB2726

Description: Document #1:
Description:  This legislation would provide scholarship grants for reimbursement of EMS training.  The money allocated will be transferred to the Secretary of Health and must only be used for the training of EMS personnel across the state.  Low reimbursements from private health insurers put many of Pennsylvania’s ambulance companies in a financial vice. This bill will help EMS organizations who are assuming larger coverage areas because of the closings of nearby volunteer ambulance companies.  Under this bill, reimbursements will improve recruitment and retention in the Commonwealth.
 
 

Document #2

Introduced as HB2728

Description: Document #2:
Description:  This legislation would provide the Office of State Fire Commissioner (OSFC) with the ability to provide public safety information on the dangers of fireworks provided by the OSFC.  While fireworks are a great way to showcase our patriotism, especially on the 4th of July, but when used incorrectly, they can lead to serious injury and death.

In 2021, there was a 50% increase of injuries and death that resulted from use of fireworks. In fact, sparklers alone burn at 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to melt several metals.

Our legislation addresses this issue by allowing people to enjoy fireworks and use them in a way to showcase their patriotism by allowing that to happen in a safer manner through the safety information provided by OSFC.
 
 

Document #3

Introduced as HB2729

Description: Document #3:
Description:  This legislation would provide for Municipal Fire Department Capital Grants. As highlighted in the SR6 report, fire departments are facing continuous struggles which go beyond manpower and equipment.  The funding will be utilized to both renovate existing structures as well as acquire new facilities that house equipment and emergency response vehicles.  This will help to ensure that the equipment that firefighters rely on is housed properly.
 
 

Document #4

Introduced as HB2730

Description: Document #4:
Description:  This legislation would allow capital grants to be administered to emergency service training centers.  Similar to document #1, funds could be used to both acquire new facilities as well as renovate existing structures.  

If there were no safe companies training centers, first responders would suffer from the lack of adequate and timely training.
 
 

Document #5

Introduced as HB2731

Description: Document #5:
Description:  This legislation would provide the OSFC with an additional $250,000 to be used toward augmenting and enhancing the Online Training Educator and Training Reimbursement Account, which is used to provide critical training for firefighters.