State grants awarded to Berks County first responders

Volunteer fire and ambulance associations in 130th Legislative District in Berks and 187th District in Lehigh and Berks will receive state grant funding, thanks to a program assisting first responders, according to Rep. David Maloney and Rep. Gary Day.

Since 97 percent of firefighters across the Keystone State are volunteers, the vast majority of Pennsylvanians rely on [them] for fire protection and basic emergency response services, Maloney said. I am a strong proponent of volunteerism because volunteer service is all about communities coming together, rather than looking to government for answers. These men and women dedicate countless hours to training to keep their rescue and response skills honed. This grant program is one way in which we can assist their efforts.

We are fortunate in our communities to have men and women dedicated to protecting us in our time of need, said Day. Just recently, my family and I were involved in an auto accident, and firefighters ventured out on a cold Sunday evening to come to our aid. Volunteers ... put in coutless hours for training, rescue and response, and fundraising. This grant program is just one way in which we can show our appreciation and assist their efforts.

The grant program, administered by Pa. Office of Fire Commissioner within Pa. Emergency Management Agency, allows local organizations to use the money for a variety of uses, including construction, renovation, purchases or repairs of equipment, training, and debt reduction.

The following to receive grants include Fleetwood Volunteer Fire Co No 1, $13,619; Fleetwood EMS, $7,091; Ruscombmanor Fire Company No 1, $12,323; Kempton Fire Co., $13,619.31; Kutztown Vol. Fire Dept., $13,560.18; Lyons Vol. Fire Co., $11,840; Topton Ambulance SVS, $7,091.40; Topton Vol. Fire Co., $13,619.31; and Walnutttown Fire Co. No. 1, $12,647.24.

The grant program is funded with proceeds from the states gaming industry.