Smith Supports Extension of Firefighter-Ambulance Grants, Says Application Period Will Open September 5
(HARRISBURG) - Noting the success of a state grant program that has helped volunteer firefighter and ambulance services for fifteen years, House Speaker Sam Smith (R-Jefferson, Indiana, Armstrong) today praised the extension of the program through 2016 and noted that funding has been increased by $5 million.
“This grant program has been put to extremely good use over the years,” Smith said. “It’s provided an additional source of funding that’s enabled emergency responders to upgrade apparatus and facilities, purchase gear, conduct training and retire debt. It’s a valuable source of support for the people and organizations that communities rely on the most.”
The legislation championed by the House and Senate and signed into law by Gov. Tom Corbett, not only reauthorized the Volunteer Fire Company and Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program for an additional four years, but also increased funding for the program from $25 to $30 million and expanded to it to include paid fire departments. The measure also provides funding for the Office of State Fire Commissioner and, according to current Commissioner Ed Mann, will enable that office to restore several training programs previously eliminated due to budgetary issues.
Smith urged local fire and ambulance organizations to watch the mail in the coming weeks for a letter from the Office of the State Fire Commissioner containing details about the program.
He noted that the application period for the grants will begin on Sept. 5, 2012 and will remain open for 45 days. The Fire Commissioner’s Office estimates the grant funds will be available in January of 2013.
“This program has been good to our organizations in the past,” Smith said.
“I hope those that are eligible will apply and maybe even receive a little more money this year. The return on this investment of taxpayer dollars is abundantly clear each time the alarm sounds and emergency responders are dispatched into communities.”
State Representative Sam Smith
66th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Kelly Fedeli