Harrisburg, PA – October 27, 2022 – Senator Lisa Boscola joined members of the Senate in establishing a slate of programs that benefit first responders and nonprofit organizations.
Boscola’s affirmative vote will provide eligible fire and EMS volunteers assistance with schooling, via the Active Volunteer Tuition and Loan Assistance Program. The program awards eligible first responders $1,000 per academic year for full-time students, and $500 per academic year for part-time students.
“I was proud to support a measure that gives back to our fire and EMS volunteers. Many of them are doing this out of the goodness of their heart. Their dedication to keeping our communities safe deserves recognition. Let that recognition be more money in their pockets, as they pursue higher learning,” Senator Boscola said.
The bill will also provide for the following:
- The extension of the Nonprofit Security Grant Fund until July 1, 2029 (+5 year extension)
- Establish the Fireworks Safety Education Program within the Office of State Fire Commissioner.
- Establish a Capital Grant Program for Municipal Fire Companies.
- Establish a Capital Grant Program for Emergency Services Companies (Volunteer Fire/EMS).
- Distribute funding to the State Fire Commissioner for Online Fire Training.
- Establish a Program to reimburse FBI accredited Bomb Squads for costs associated with the removal, storage or disposal of consumer fireworks, display fireworks or combustibles.
- Change the Fire & EMS Grant Program by increasing to 20 years (from 10 years) the amount of time that a merged fire company, merged EMS agency, or combination of merged fire company or EMS agency can receive an enhanced grant. It would also increase to $20,000 the maximum Grant for a Fire company (currently $15,000). It would increase the maximum Grant for an EMS agency to $15,000 (currently $10,000).
- Establish a program for Recruitment, Training and Retention.
The language was amended by the Senate into House Bill 397, which passed unanimously, and will now head to the House of Representatives for a vote on concurrence before the end of the Session year.
“I encourage my colleagues in the House to support this measure when it is delivered to them. Our first responders are the backbone of our community. The more we can do to invest in their training and equipment the better. That is an investment in what matters most, our safety.”
If passed by the House, the bill authorizing these programs will be sent to the Governor for his signature.