HARRISBURG – Governor Tom Wolf announced last week that the Office of State Fire Commissioner (OSFC) will be awarding $50 million worth of grant funding to fire, rescue, and EMS across the commonwealth to offset expenses related to COVID-19, including a number of grants to providers in Clarion and Armstrong counties.

“Our fire, rescue and EMS are the first responders often on the front-lines of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Wolf said. “All these professionals — some working as volunteers — give selflessly to support neighbors and communities. These CARES Act grants can assist in supporting them and their ongoing efforts to keep their neighbors and communities protected and safe.”

“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our office has remained open to provide the necessary resources that our fire service and EMS personnel need to fulfill a critical public safety role throughout the Commonwealth,” said Fire Commissioner Bruce Trego. “Departments have been exceptionally patient during this process, as our office has worked through changing federal guidance dictating how these dollars can be spent.”

The purpose of this funding is to provide some much-needed financial assistance to first responders who have found it difficult to keep their operations running due to COVID-19. Of the $50 million in funding set aside for this new program, $44 million will be made available to fire and rescue companies and the remaining $6 million will go to EMS companies.

As stated in Act 26, the money must be used for operational and equipment expenses.

Eligible expenses include: Operational expenses; utilities; insurance; apparatus repairs and fuel; personal protective equipment; lost revenues due to pandemic restrictions; expenses for cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting of equipment and property or other expenses incurred to prevent the spread of communicable illnesses.

Program funds must be utilized for eligible expenses initiated on or after March 6 and completed on or before Dec. 30 to be considered as eligible for this grant program.

Local recipients include:

CLARION COUNTY

• Callensburg Licking Township Volunteer Fire Co. — $22,877.

• Clarion Fire and Hose Co. No. 1 — $22,877.

• East Brady Volunteer Fire Dept. — $23,151.

• Farmington Township Volunteer Fire Co. — $22,603.

• Hawthorn Area Volunteer Fire Dept. — $22,603.

• Knox Volunteer Fire Co. — $23,425.

• Limestone Township Volunteer Fire Co. — $22,603.

• New Bethlehem Fire Co. — $22,877.

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• Rimersburg Hose Co. — $22,603.

• Shippenville/Elk Volunteer Fire Dept. — $11,094.

• Sligo Volunteer Fire Dept. — $22,740.

• St. Petersburg Volunteer Fire Co. — $22,603.

• Strattanville Volunteer Fire Dept. — $11,094.

• Washington Township Volunteer Fire Dept. — $22,603.

• Shippenville/Elk EMS — $5,856.

• East Brady Ambulance Service — $10,994.

• Southern Clarion County Ambulance — $15,048.

ARMSTRONG COUNTY

(Northern Departments)

• Dayton District Volunteer Fire Dept. — $22,603.

• Distant Area Volunteer Fire Dept. — $23,288.

• Parker City Volunteer Fire Co. — $35,199.

• Pine Township Volunteer Fire Dept. — $23,151.

• Sugarcreek Township Volunteer Fire Co. — $23,699.

• Sugarcreek Township Ambulance — $15,048.

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