The guidelines for the COVID-19 Crisis Fire Company and EMS Grant Program created by Senate Bill 1122 have been released and local fire companies and EMS agencies may now apply to receive funds, according to Senator Scott Hutchinson, who supported the bill on its way to being enacted into law.
“Our first responders have seen their ability to fundraise decrease as a result of the pandemic, even as their costs have increased with the need to ensure the safety of their crews,” Senator Hutchinson said. “Recognizing this, and with all due respect to the vital roles that our first responders play in their local communities, we appropriated this $50 million for this important grant program. This is a significant investment of a portion of the federal funding that was provided to Pennsylvania to address COVID-19-related issues.”
The $50 million will be distributed by the Office of the State Fire Commissioner (OSFC) as follows:
· $44 million to eligible fire and rescue companies; and
· $6 million to eligible EMS companies.
Funding will be calculated for individual awards in the following manner:
· Fire/Rescue/EMS Companies that received a grant award from the 2019-2020 Fire Company & EMS Grant Program (FCEMSGP) and register for the COVID-19 Crisis grant program will receive an initial award equal to the amount they received from the 2019-2020 FCEMSGP.
· The surplus funding in the program will be distributed to each eligible company that meets the funding criteria and that submits a completed registration, including those that did not receive a 2019-2020 FCEMSGP grant award.
Eligible companies seeking a grant under the program are required to submit a completed online grant registration to OSFC by following the COVID-19 Fire, Rescue and EMS Grant Instructions. The online registration portal opened on Monday, July 6, 2020, and will remain open until 4 p.m., Friday, August 7.