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Fire, EMS groups get funds

EBENSBURG — More than $268,000 in state funding was awarded to help local fire and EMS companies in Cambria County, according to state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria.

“Our local fire fighters and EMS are the critical backbone of our communities. When we need help, they always have our back, and I will always work to have theirs,” Burns said. “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.”

Departments receiving grants include:

– Blacklick Valley Ambulance Service EMS Company — $9,192.

– Cambria Township Volunteer Fire Company — $12,878.

– Carrolltown Fire Company — $11,783.

– Community Volunteer Fire Company of Lilly — $13,289.

– Cresson Volunteer Fire Company — $14,248.

– Dauntless Fire Company — $14,248.

– Ebensburg Area Ambulance Association — $9,192.

– Gallitzin Fire Company — $13,700.

– Hastings Area Ambulance Association — $9,192.

– Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Company — $14,284.

– Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Company — $9,192.

– Loretto Fire Company — $12,057.

– Patton Fire Company

No. 1 — $14,248.

– Reade Township Volunteer Fire Company — $11,920.

– Revloc Volunteer Fire Company — $12,604.

The grants were made possible by the Fire Company and Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program, and can be used toward repairing, building or renovating facilities. The money also can be applied toward purchase of new equipment, training and certification of staff, or it may go to repay debt related to equipment purchases or facility building and maintenance.

Burns noted that recipients still need to complete and return original signed copies of their grant agreements by May 31 in order to receive their money.

Earlier this year, Burns also helped push a bipartisan effort to enact sweeping legislation to support volunteer fire and EMS agencies as they combat a critical volunteer shortage across the state.

The package of 23 bills included legislation that would enact tuition assistance and loan forgiveness, as well as increase access to mental health care for volunteer first responders who suffer from trauma.

“Our volunteer EMTs and firefighters fight to save the lives of their fellow community members that they typically do not even know. That is what it truly means to be a hero,” Burns said. “I’m proud to support them and efforts to repay them for their hard work and dedication.”

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