By Evamarie Socha
The Daily Item
LEWISBURG — Seven fire companies and ambulance services in Union County will share approximately $81,000 from a state grant program that helps these organizations buy equipment and manage their operations.
The Fire Company and Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant program awards were announced Tuesday by state Sen. Gene Yaw, R-23 of Loyalsock Township, who counts the eastern half of Union County as part of his district.
Awards totaling $81,170 will go to:
- Mifflinburg Community Ambulance Association, $6,526
- Mifflinburg Hose Company, $13,116
- New Berlin Fire Company, $11,985 for the fire side and $6,651 for the EMS side
- Union County West End Ambulance and Rescue Association, of Laurelton, $6,651
- Union Township Fire Company, of Winfield, $12,308
- White Deer Township Fire Company, of New Columbia, $10,525
- William Cameron Engine Company, of Lewisburg, $8,900 for the fire side and $4,506 for the EMS side
The money may be used for facility repairs, training, to buy equipment or to reduce an organization’s debt, according to the grant’s rules.
The Mifflinburg Hose Company, for instance, plans to use its grant to buy two self-contained breathing apparatuses, President Wayne Bierly said, and likely will use subsequent awards to replace all of them eventually.
Those receiving grants must file final reports by Sept. 3 accounting for their use of the funds. All told, about $1.4 million will go to 112 first-responder organizations in Yaw’s district.
The grants are common, and nearly every fire and emergency management service in the state applies for them, said Harold Erdley Jr., public information officer for the Lewisburg Professional Firefighters and EMTs, part of the William Cameron.
Beginning every September, the program provides grant eligibility information and an online application. Eligible volunteer fire companies may apply for grants up to $15,000; volunteer ambulance companies may apply for grants up to $10,000.
The program is a state grant administered through the Office of the State Fire Commissioner. Pennsylvania also offers a loan program to volunteer and career fire, ambulance and rescue organizations to help improve and enhance services.
Gov. Tom Corbett reauthorized the grant program last year for four years and for up to $30 million.