State money for fire and ambulance crews will benefit several in area

State Senator Robert C. Jubelirer has announced state funding that will benefit volunteer fire and EMS units.
The money comes from the 2005-06 Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Grant Program.
According to a press release from Sen. Jubelirer’s office in Harrisburg, the funding is available to all volunteer fire and ambulance units and can be used to pay for equipment, facilities, training or debt reduction.
“While working with local units to develop programs and secure funding for projects over the years, we began hearing more and more about the challenges that volunteer fire and ambulance crews face to raise money,” said Sen. Jubelirer. “At the same time training demands were increasing.
“In response, we began the state grant program,” Jubelirer said. “This funding is the Commonwealth’s next installment in the continuing commitment to the volunteer emergency services.”
Jubelirer’s release noted that $892,000 in funding is on its way to area units in five counties served by the senator.
The funding includes $266,344 for Blair County along with grants totaling $204,796 for Huntingdon County; $160,308 for Bedford County; $212,414 for Mifflin County and $46,882 for Fulton County.
In northern Blair County, Tyrone’s Blazing Arrow Hook & Ladder Company received $12,653.87 while the Neptune Fire Company received $10,130.80. Bellwood’s Excelsior Fire Company received $12,284.80.
Other funding went to the Bale Eagle Volunteer Fire Company ($9,814.87), Tipton-Antis District 2 Volunteer Fire Company ($10,130.80), Pinecroft Volunteer Fire Company ($9,500), Sinking Valley Volunteer Fire Company ($9,500) and the Bellwood Ambulance Association ($5,496.49).
Outside of Sen. Jubelirer’s district, in nearby Centre County, the Mountain Top Fire Company in Sandy Ridge received $8,065. Mountain Top Fire Company’s EMS received $5,496.49. Port Matilda Fire Company received $11,076.93 while Port Matilda EMS received $5,496.49.
“Volunteers are the first line of response in all types of emergencies and disasters. This funding will help them purchase equipment and maintain facilities so they can continue to provide critical public safety in our communities,” said Jubelirer.
Jubelirer’s release said local companies are also eligible to receive grants through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.