HARRISBURG – Legislative language championed by State Senator Doug Mastriano (R-33) that would extend the state’s Fire & EMS Grant Program was approved today as an amendment by the Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee.
As part of House Bill 1673, the popular Fire & EMS Grant Program – which expired in June – would be reauthorized through June of 2024.
The $30-million dollar program is funded via gaming and property tax dollars.
“There is never enough that the General Assembly can do to thank our first responders, but this program represents goodwill, and also shows that we care,” said Mastriano. “It is amazing to me how our heroes are able to stretch these dollars and make such a good use of this program.”
Mastriano compared components of the amendment to Senate Bill 910, which passed the Senate unanimously earlier this year but did not advance in the House. Annually, the program has provided up to $14,000 in grants to fire companies, and nearly $7,000 in grants to EMS agencies for a wide variety of projects.
Overall, the omnibus amendment approved by the Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee on Tuesday incorporated many suggestions by the SR6 Commission.
“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.”