Harkins, Merski announce $106,820 in fire and EMS grants

ERIE, Feb. 10 – State Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, both D-Erie, announced that fire and EMS companies in their districts will be receiving $106,820 in state grant funding for equipment, training and other needed resources. 

“Erie first responders have been operating under short staffed and underfunded conditions for years, and the pandemic only made things tougher,” Harkins said. “Securing this funding is going to help get some of those resources flowing and also aid in recruitment and retention efforts.”

Merski said: “The grants are a welcome addition to help our frontline heroes replenish supplies and equipment, fund necessary training, make building repairs and address a host of other needs. Erie is lucky to have dedicated first responders who answer the call in all kinds of stressful situations. This funding is the least we can do to help make their work a little easier.”

The lawmakers said the funding includes:

•           Belle Valley Fire Department Inc. – fire company, $13,520.

•           City of Erie Fire Department – fire company, $15,000.

•           EmergyCare Inc. – EMS, $8,325.

•           Lawrence Park Volunteer Fire Department – fire company, $15,000.

•           Lawrence Park Volunteer Fire Department – EMS, $8,325.

•           Perry Hi-Way Hose Co. – fire company, $15,000.

•           Perry Hi-Way Hose Co. – EMS, $8,325.

•           Wesleyville Hose Co. – fire company, $15,000

•           Wesleyville Hose Co. – EMS, $8,325.

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

Eligible projects include construction or renovation of facilities; purchase or repair of equipment; fuel purchase; member training and certification; public safety education; recruitment and retention, debt reduction; overtime costs associated with backfilling positions while firefighters are training; and supplementation of operating expenses incurred by a lack of fundraising amid pandemic-related measures.

A full list of the grants is available here.