Pennsylvania Governor Rendell Signs Bill Providing for $25 Million Grant Program for Emergency Services

Canonsburg, PA /PRNewswire/ – Joined by hundreds of emergency services personnel whom he praised as “brave and heroic protectors of our communities,” Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell conducted a ceremonial signing of House Bill 8, which establishes a $25 million grant program for volunteer firefighters and volunteer ambulance services.

“Our firefighters and ambulance workers deserve our support,” Governor Rendell said. “We need to make sure that they have the proper equipment and resources as they respond to emergencies in communities all across the state. This legislation will provide much-needed financial assistance to help them carry out the important work that they do.”

Under the legislation (House Bill 8), a one-time grant will be awarded to each eligible volunteer fire company or volunteer ambulance service for construction and/or renovation of the fire company’s or ambulance service’s facility. The grant also can be used to purchase or repair fixtures and furnishings necessary to maintain or improve the capability of the company to provide fire, ambulance and rescue, emergency medical, or basic and advance life support services. It also can be used for the repair or purchase of firefighting, ambulance or rescue services; debt reduction; and training and certification of members.

The legislation designates $22 million to the Volunteer Fire Grant Program and $3 million to the Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program. The minimum grant is $2,500; the maximum is $15,000. A volunteer fire company is eligible to receive grant funds if they have actively responded to one or more fire and rescue emergencies since July 1, 2002. The company also must sign an agreement to actively participate in the Pennsylvania Fire Information Reporting System administered by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Larry Sather (R-Blair/Huntingdon/Mifflin), passed unanimously and takes effect immediately.

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