|Posted:||March 9, 2023 11:55 AM|
|From:||Representative Anita Astorino Kulik|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Funding for Local First Responders|
|Pennsylvania’s local first responder crisis is no secret. Fire companies and emergency medical services (EMS) are facing incredible challenges with funding and recruiting new staff. These heroes have saved countless lives, especially over the last two years, and the COVID-19 pandemic only amplified these longstanding problems.
In early February 2022, the General Assembly allocated $25 million in grants to local EMS companies to help mitigate the impact of the pandemic. This was a desperately needed first step. However, we must now establish a dedicated funding stream for these vital services.
I will soon introduce legislation to create an emergency services fund in each municipality across the Commonwealth to provide additional funding to local fire and EMS companies. When a property is sold in the municipality, a small $25 fee would be collected from the buyer and seller. Within 15 days of closing, those fees would be deposited into the municipal emergency services fund. This money could then be allocated by the municipality and used for volunteer and paid fire and EMS companies to purchase vehicles and equipment, pay staff, and acquire other necessary items.
Our local first responders were rightly hailed as heroes during the pandemic. Now, it is time for the legislature to do our part and recognize their service and dedication by providing a continual source of funding to municipal fire and EMS companies.
Introduced as HB1109