Burns: $493,000 in COVID funding for local Fire, EMS companies

Lawmaker worked to make grant program more inclusive for rural companies

EBENSBURG, Oct.  8 – Thanks to legislation supported by state Rep. Frank Burns, local fire and EMS companies will soon receive more than $493,000 in emergency funding through a state COVID response program.

Burns, D-Cambria, not only fought to pass the legislation (Act 26) that created the emergency grant program earlier this year but provided a key amendment to the legislation to make the program more inclusive for rural fire and EMS companies.

“After hearing from our local volunteers about how the coronavirus had stretched their already thin resources, I supported and pushed for this legislation to move it across the finish line,” Burns said. “We ask our emergency responders to support us every day, often under the most difficult conditions imaginable. I am thrilled to be able to announce that this funding is being sent out to where it is needed the most.”

As stated in Act 26, the money must be used for operational and equipment expenses. Eligible expenses include operational expenses like utilities, apparatus repairs or fuel, or PPE; or expenses related to cleaning, sanitizing or disinfecting equipment or property.

“As someone who has suited up for a Cambria County Fire School training session, I’ve had a taste of what they go through when they answer the call – and I will continue to fight to make sure they have the equipment and training they need to do so,” Burns said.

A full list of grants awarded to fire and EMS agencies in Cambria County (totaling more than $1.1 million) can be found here.