HARRISBURG – Today, the Senate passed a measure that would provide essential funding and support for Pennsylvania’s fire and emergency medical services (EMS) community, according to Sen. Pat Stefano (R-32), chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee.
With an amendment offered by Senator Stefano, House Bill 397 would:
*Put in place a Tuition & Loan Assistance Program.
*Establish Recruitment, Training and Retention programs – including Higher & Secondary Education Partnerships for EMS.
*Create Capital Grant Programs for career and volunteer fire companies to shore up their facilities.
*Increase the max Fire & EMS Grants and allows merged companies to receive higher grants for 20 years.
*Provide funding for Online Fire Training.
*Require the State Fire Commissioner to establish an online Fire Registry of firefighters’ courses.
*Set up a Fireworks Safety Education Program.
“Our fire and EMS systems are facing serious challenges. By working together at the state and local levels, we can help mitigate the threat of any Pennsylvanian needing assistance but not receiving it in a timely fashion,” said Stefano, who inserted the package into House Bill 397. “I was pleased to work with our fire and EMS community, as well as with colleagues in the Senate and House, to put together this measure.”
House Bill 397 now moves to the governor’s desk for final approval.
CONTACT: Nate Silcox, 717-787-7175 or firstname.lastname@example.org