Harrisburg, Pa. − February 9, 2022 − Today, Senator Lindsey M. Williams was pleased to vote for the creation of the Emergency Medical Services COVID-19 Recovery Grant Program as part of the amended SB 739. This bill, which passed both the Senate and House, now heads to Governor Wolf for his signature. The EMS Covid-19 Grant Program, which is made possible by a $25 million allocation of Federal American Rescue Plan money, will provide funding to all of the approximately 800 EMS agencies across Pennsylvania that provide transportation services to residents. Each agency will receive about $31,000.
This grant funding will be administered by the Office of State Fire Commissioner. EMS agencies will be notified of their eligibility. Funding can be used for the following purposes:
- Construction or renovation of the EMS company facilities and the purchase or repair of fixtures, furnishings, office equipment, and support services;
- Repair or purchase of ambulance equipment;
- Debt reduction associated with construction or repair of facilities and ambulance equipment;
- Training and certification of members;
- Education for the general public regarding community risk reduction programs;
- Recruitment and retention programs;
- Revenue loss coverage for grants issued in 2021 and 2022.
“Our EMS agencies have been true front line heroes not just during the pandemic, but each and every day. These skilled men and women show up when we need them the most—it’s time the legislature shows up for them now,” said Senator Williams. “EMS agencies across the country are struggling to stay open due to low insurance reimbursement rates, high equipment costs, and uncertain funding. I’ve worked closely with the ambulance authorities across Senate District 38 to ensure that they aren’t being left out of the conversation in Harrisburg, and I’m proud to have been a vocal advocate for establishing this grant funding.”
Senator Williams also voted for HR 173 in Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee and on the Senate Floor. HR 173 extends the current emergency declaration signed by Governor Wolf in response to the Fern Hollow Bridge collapse through March 31, 2022. This resolution will ensure that the Department of Transportation is eligible to receive emergency relief funding from the Federal Government to assist the City of Pittsburgh.
“I’m happy to see the General Assembly working with the Administration to extend this emergency declaration and ensure that Pittsburgh and the Commonwealth can receive emergency resources from the federal government following the Fern Hollow Bridge collapse. I will advocate for an extension of this declaration as needed to ensure that we can continue to receive appropriate funding as this investigation and cleanup process continues,” said Senator Williams. “I am extremely grateful to the first responders and emergency crews that responded to the initial collapse and for their continued work in safely removing vehicles from the bridge site.”
In addition to today’s votes, Senator Williams welcomed the 2021 PIAA Division 3A Champion Hampton School District Boys Soccer Team to the Capitol. These young men and their coaches were recognized on the Senate Floor and were presented with citations for their impressive season. The Talbots defeated Archbishop Wood 1-0 in November to win the championship.