HARRISBURG – Legislation by State Senator Doug Mastriano (R-33) that would extend the state’s popular Fire & EMS Grant Program until 2024 was passed by the Senate today.
The legislation advances to the House for consideration. It was one of two measures passed by the Senate to aid firefighters and EMS personnel.
Overall, Senate Bill 910 incorporates many suggestions by the SR6 Commission to enhance the existing $30 million grant program.
“Firefighters and first responders are on the front lines of public safety in our communities,” said Mastriano. “Reauthorizing this program is a way for the General Assembly to demonstrate that we recognize that the vehicles, equipment and training required to do this work properly is very expensive. Many of these fire companies are volunteer, and simply cannot bear the burden without this support.”
Without any action by the legislature, the program would expire this June.
Mastriano thanked Senator Mike Regan, Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee, for his expertise while drafting the bill.
The program provides up to $14,000 in grants to fire companies and nearly $7,000 in grants to EMS agencies for construction or renovation of a fire or ambulance company facility, purchase or repair of equipment, training and reduction of existing debt.
The Senate also approved Senate Bill 908, which would create a voter referendum to expand the Volunteer Fire Company, Ambulance Service and Rescue Squad Assistance program to include career fire and EMS companies. The bill would also increase the maximum loan amounts allowed by the program, expand the allowable list of uses of Fire Relief Funding and review the current funding formula.
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