Harrisburg – Legislation sponsored by Sen. Kim Ward (R-39) to extend a program providing assistance to fire companies and ambulance services was unanimously approved by the Senate yesterday.
Under Senate Bill 866, the Volunteer Fire Company and Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program would be expanded to include municipal fire companies. The program, set to expire at the end of June, would be extended to June 30, 2016.
The measure also increases funding by $5 million, to help emergency responders pay for equipment, construction or renovation of facilities, training and debt reduction. With the additional funding, approximately $1 million in grants will be awarded to municipal fire companies and the remaining $4 million of new funding will be available for grants to volunteer fire company and ambulance services.
“Firefighters and ambulance personnel are the front lines of emergency response every day, year round. The need for their lifesaving services doesn’t stop and neither does the cost of providing those services,” said Ward. “Modern emergency response prevents more death and property damage than ever before, but it is expensive. This grant program is too important to communities to allow it to expire.”
Senate Bill 866 will be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.