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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: March 30, 2020 11:51 AM
From: Senator Joe Pittman
To: All Senate members
Subject: COVID-19 Crisis Grant Program for Volunteer Fire & EMS Companies
As we continue to see the impacts of COVID-19, it has become evident our volunteer fire companies and emergency medical services (EMS) need immediate financial assistance.  These organizations are putting themselves on the front lines of defense during this crisis. Not only are they being asked to expose themselves to this deadly virus, but inability to fundraise and limited non-emergency calls (that often pay the bills) are taking a significant financial toll on their operations.
I plan to introduce legislation to provide an additional one-time grant to each fire and EMS Company that has been approved by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) and the office of the State Fire Commissioner (OSFC) for an annual grant for the 2019-20 fiscal year.  These crisis grants would essentially double the money they receive and would be automatically awarded with no need for companies to apply.  Additionally, the bill would open a window for EMS and volunteer fire companies that may have missed applying for the original grant.  The additional $30 million needed to implement the grants would come from funds allocated to Pennsylvania through Federal stimulus money.
Many of these organizations struggle financially under normal circumstances, and the current crisis has only exacerbated that.  Please join me in supporting our volunteer fire companies and EMS agencies as they continue to protect and serve our communities during these challenging times.
If you have any questions, please contact Anne Achenbach (aachenbach@pasen.gov) or Carlton Logue (clogue@pasen.gov) of my staff.

Introduced as SB1122