Area fire/ambulance companies to receive $308,865 in state grants

HARRISBURG, Feb. 9 -- State Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, said 23 fire and ambulance companies in the 55th Legislative District will be sharing $308,865 in state grants.

The grants are from Pennsylvania's Fire Company and Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program. The grants are funded from gaming revenue and property tax relief funding.

"Our fire departments and emergency service providers often spend countless hours fundraising to ensure their equipment and training are up to date so they can help keep us safe," Petrarca said. "These grants help our first responders focus on their service to their communities, which is why this program is so vital. I was proud last summer to vote to extend this program for an additional four years."

Grant recipients and amounts awarded in the 55th District are as follows:

Armstrong County

  • Apollo Volunteer Fire Dept. Hose Co. No. 2 -- $12,358

  • Leechburg Volunteer Fire Co. -- $11,844

  • Lower Kiski Ambulance Service Inc. -- $13,902 for the fire company; $7,448 for EMS

  • Parks Township Volunteer Fire Dept. -- $12,101

Indiana County

  • Saltsburg Volunteer Fire Dept. -- $12,873

Westmoreland County

  • Avonmore Volunteer Fire Dept. -- $11,844

  • Bell Township Volunteer Fire Dept. -- $12,616

  • Derry Volunteer Fire Dept. -- $12,358

  • Derry Township Volunteer Fire Dept. No. 1 of Bradenville -- $12,873

  • Free Service Fire Unit No. 6, Latrobe -- $11,844

  • Freewill Volunteer Hose Co. No. 3 and 4, Latrobe -- $11,844

  • George G. McMurtry Fire Dept. Vandergrift No. 1 -- $15,000

  • Good Friends Hose Co. No. 5, Latrobe -- $11,844

  • Goodwill Hose Co. No. 1, Latrobe -- $11,844

  • Hook & Ladder Co. 2 Latrobe Volunteer Fire Dept. -- $12,358

  • Hyde Park Volunteer Fire Dept. -- $13,130

  • Lloydsville Volunteer Fire Dept. -- $15,000

  • New Alexandria Volunteer Fire Dept. -- $12,358

  • Rough Terrain Support Unit, Latrobe -- $14,674

  • Vandergrift Fire Dept. No. 2 -- $11,844 for the fire company; $7,448 for EMS

  • West Leechburg Volunteer Fire Co. -- $11,844

  • Whitney Hostetter Volunteer Fire Dept. -- $12,616

  • Youngstown Volunteer Fire Dept. and Relief Association -- $15,000

Grants can be used toward repairing, building or renovating facilities. Grant money also can be applied toward the purchase of new equipment, training and certification of staff, or it may go to repay debt related to equipment purchases or facility building and maintenance.

Of the $30 million allocated this year, $26.4 million has been earmarked for volunteer and career fire companies and $3.6 million for volunteer EMS entities.

The law that Petrarca voted for -- Act 60 of 2016 -- continues the program to 2020 and permits career EMS agencies and volunteer EMS agencies associated with a hospital if they are designated as a municipality's primary EMS provider to apply for the grants. It also created a bonus point system for departments with 20 firefighters certified at level one or higher and allowed merged volunteer fire companies to continue to receive a larger grant for 10 years.

The application deadline for the next round of fire grants will be in October.