Apr. 21, 2020

HARRISBURG--Reps. Cris Dush (R-Jefferson/Indiana) and Rep. Jim Struzzi (R-Indiana)today announced their successful efforts to fully restore the Fire and EMS grant program administered by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and Office of the State Fire Commissioner:

“Last week, we began investigating why some local fire and ambulance companies were receiving these regularly scheduled grants and some were not,” said Dush.“We were informed that the Office of the State Fire Commissioner had been arbitrarily and capriciously deemed ‘non-essential’ by Gov. Tom Wolf. As a result, the commissioner’s staff was sent home without having completed the necessary distribution of the grants.This is a primary example of why, in a Republic such as ours, involving the legislative body in decisions which have a significant impact on the lives and livelihoods of our communities is essential.”

After getting House Republican Leadership involved, the Wolf administration reversed course and began working to implement a work-from-home option for the fire commissioner’s staff in order to complete the release of this essential funding to the remaining fire and EMS organizations throughout Pennsylvania. The staff is expected to be coming online this week.

“The value of our first responders, EMS and volunteer fire companies cannot be overstated, particularly in times like these,” said Struzzi. “We are honored and obligated to do anything and everything we can to help them get this necessary and crucial funding.”

All funding for the grants comes from the proceeds from slot machine gaming, and not General Fund tax revenue. Projects eligible for funding include construction or renovation of a fire or ambulance company facility, purchase or repair of equipment, training, or reduction of existing debt.

Representative Cris Dush
66th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Ty McCauslin

Representative Jim Struzzi
62nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Kevin DiGuiseppe