First responder aid bill has Ravenstahl’s support

Bill would provide grants to fire, EMS companies to help with ongoing crisis

PITTSBURGH, March 31 – As the deepening coronavirus crisis continues to put stress on communities across the state, state Rep. Adam Ravenstahl, D-Allegheny, has moved to co-sponsor legislation to help fire and EMS companies respond to this pandemic.

“Our fire and EMS companies respond to help us during our most dire moments, day-in and day-out,” Ravenstahl said. “Today, they continue to answer that call, even in the midst of this pandemic -- and it’s time for us to do what we can to help them.”

Under the legislation being introduced, a COVID-19 Crisis Fire & EMS Grant Program would provide a one-time grant to each fire and EMS company agency that has already been approved by the state for a 2019-20 fiscal year grant. Crisis grants would be automatically awarded with no need for companies to apply. The program would end after 180 days.
The grants would be funded by a one-time transfer of $30 million from the Volunteer Companies Loan Fund, which has previously been done to balance the state budget in both 2014 and 2016.

“I know how hard it is for our volunteer companies to fundraise and operate even under normal conditions,” Ravenstahl said. “And these extraordinary conditions are only making it harder for them to do so. That’s why I’m calling on my fellow legislators to join myself and other lawmakers to move this legislation quickly.”