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Pickett Votes to Continue Grant Program for Fire, EMS Companies
HARRISBURG -- Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna) voted earlier this week to continue and expand the grant program that has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars for local fire and emergency medical services companies in the 110th District.

“For nearly a decade, state grants have been available to help local volunteer fire and EMS units with their expenses, and many of our local volunteers have benefited from these grants,” Pickett said. “From helping with debt service and building renovations to paying for life-saving equipment and training, this grant program has assisted our first responders in so many ways. Our local volunteers spend so much of their time on raising funds to keep their operations going, that this program is designed to help ease that burden a bit and focus their efforts on their community service.”

Senate Bill 866 extends the program through 2016, increases funding available from $25 million to $30 million and expands the initiative to include paid fire departments so that companies in financially struggling municipalities can continue to protect health and safety. The legislation now heads to the governor to be signed into law.

Under the legislation, first response groups will continue to be eligible for up to $15,000 for fire companies and $10,000 for EMS units. Grants may be used for construction or renovation of a unit’s station, the purchase or repair of equipment, training or debt reduction.

Pickett pointed out that the additional funding will not come from state tax dollars but from proceeds from slot machine gaming, where the funding has been generated for several years.

The program is administered by the Office of the State Fire Commissioner within the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.

State Representative Tina Pickett
110th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Jennifer Keaton
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