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More than $270,000 in grants have been awarded to Mon-Yough area fire and EMS companies through a state program.
For agencies that could not conduct regular fundraisers during the COVID-19 pandemic, the money can be used to help make up for lost revenue, say local state representatives.
The annual Fire Company and Emergency Medical Service Grant Program, which is overseen by the Office of the State Fire Commissioner, provides funding for volunteer and career fire companies, emergency medical services and rescue squads.
Eligible organizations can use the funds for facilities and equipment, debt reduction, training and education and recruitment and retention.
“Our first responders have continued, time and time again, to answer the call, even during the pandemic,” said State Rep. Nick Pisciottano of West Mifflin. “These funds will be instrumental in helping our volunteer fire and EMS companies to continue to serve our communities.”
In addition, departments who depend on fundraising activities, and which were unable to hold those fundraisers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, may use the money to supplement their operational expenses.
“This grant funding will help fire and EMS companies rebuild following severe impacts to fundraising efforts and other essential needs during COVID-19,” said State Rep. Austin Davis of McKeesport.
Some of the local fire and rescue squads receiving grants include:
• Clairton Volunteer Fire Dept.: $8,545
• Coulter Volunteer Fire Co. & Relief Inc., South Versailles Twp.: $11,876
• Crestas Volunteer Fire Co., North Versailles Twp.: $11,520
• Dravosburg Volunteer Fire Dept. No. 1: $13,837
• Duquesne Volunteer Fire Dept.: $12,590
• Duquesne Annex Volunteer Fire Co. of West Mifflin: $12,233
• Citizens Hose Co. No. 1 of Glassport: $15,000
• Homeville Volunteer Fire Dept. No. 1 of West Mifflin: $12,946
• Volunteer Firemans’ Association of Liberty Borough: $11,877
• Lincoln Borough Volunteer Fire & Rescue Co. No. 1: $13,302
• City of McKeesport Fire Dept.: $14,850
• McKeesport Ambulance Rescue Service (EMS): $8,993
• Fire Department of North Versailles (EMS) $8,993, (Fire Company) $13,124
• Vigilant Hose Company No. 1 of Port Vue: $15,000.00
• Rainbow Volunteer Fire Co., White Oak: $13,124
• Skyview Volunteer Fire Co. West Mifflin No. 4: $13,124
• United Volunteer Fire and Rescue of East McKeesport and Wall: $12,233
• West Wilmerding Volunteer Fire Dept., North Versailles Twp: $11,877
• White Oak Emergency Medical Service (EMS): $8,993
• White Oak Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1: $13,837
• Wilmerding Volunteer Fire Dept.: $12,946
A spokesperson for the state fire commissioner’s office said the annual grant program is available for volunteer and career fire companies, emergency medical services and rescue squads. The program provides grant eligibility information and makes an online grant application available for all eligible applicants.
Based on applicant and project criteria, staff reviews and approves or disapproves all applications, processes signed grant agreements, and authorizes dispersal of grant funds. Final grant reports are reviewed for compliance with project description and program guidelines.
Originally published July 12, 2021.