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Bill could give firefighters and EMS $40 million in financial assistance


Harrisburg, PA – Legislation sponsored by Rep. Cris Dush (R-Jefferson/Indiana) to potentially provide up to $40 million in financial assistance to Pennsylvania’s dedicated fire and emergency medical service companies was unanimously approved by the Pennsylvania House on Tuesday.

“Fire departments across the Commonwealth have already lost the opportunity to obtain their largest source of revenue through their annual fundraisers.” said Dush. “Many have also had their annual grants held up due to Governor Tom Wolf’s decision to deem the State Fire Commissioner’s Office non-essential and sent them home without all of the approved grants being dispersed. Without these finances many volunteer fire companies are on the verge of having to close their doors.”

House Bill 2413 would allow for a one-time transfer of unused funds from the Office of the State Fire Commissioner to aid the response of emergency responders to the COVID-19 pandemic and their daily operational needs.

“It is absolutely critical, not only from a financial perspective, but for the safety of all Pennsylvanians, that we take tangible legislative action to support the life-saving and irreplaceable public service of our volunteer emergency responders,” said Dush. “Especially throughout this COVID-19 pandemic, which has shut down community fundraising and recruitment efforts, we need to do whatever we can to ease the increasing financial burdens they face and bring home the resources they need to do their jobs safely. As always, we are truly blessed to have these outstanding, life-sustaining heroes among us!”

House Bill 2413 now advances to the state Senate for consideration.

See Rep. Cris Dush’s remarks on the House floor.