Harkins, Merski announce more than $101,000 in fire, EMS grants

ERIE, Jan. 21 – State Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, both D-Erie, announced the award of $101,024 in state grants to nine fire and emergency medical service companies in Erie

“So often, our first responders are our defense against catastrophe,” Merski said. “We ask them to walk into dangerous situations every day, and they do so willingly to keep us safe. These grants will help ensure that they have the resources they need to face risks of all kind with the maximum possible protection.”

Harkins agreed, noting, “Purchasing quality equipment is just one of many expenses that can stretch fire department and EMS companies’ budgets to the limit. We need to do everything within our power to ensure that our firefighters and rescue workers have state-of-the-art training and equipment, and this funding will go a long way toward making that happen.” 

The grants will go to the following entities in the following amounts:

  • Belle Valley Fire Department Inc. – Fire Company, $12,331.
  • City of Erie Fire Department – Fire Company, $14,248.
  • EmergyCare Inc. – EMS, $9,192.
  • Lawrence Park Volunteer Fire Dept. – Fire Company, $11,646.
  • Lawrence Park Volunteer Fire Dept. – EMS, $9,192.
  • Perry Hi-Way Hose Company – Fire Company, $14,248.
  • Perry Hi-Way Company – EMS, $9,192.
  • Wesleyville Hose Company – Fire Company, $11,783.
  • Wesleyville Hose Company – EMS, $9,192.

The grants are made possible by the Fire Company and Emergency Medical Service Grant Program, which is administered by the Office of the State Fire Commissioner.

The funding may be used for training and certification of members; purchase or repair of equipment and purchase of vehicle fuel; building construction, renovation and repair; debt reduction associated with eligible building or equipment projects; fire-prevention training and education materials for the general public and overtime costs associated with backfilling position while firefighter are attending training.

Harkins and Merski noted that recipients must complete and return the original signed copies of their grant agreements to the OSFC office by May 31 to have the grants processed. Recipients must also comply with PENNFIRS reporting requirements. Additional information, including the grant application, is available here.