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Boscola Bulletin

Bill Aimed to Ease Burden on First Responders Passes Senate

When dispatched to a call, most first responders in Pennsylvania have no idea what they are walking into or what diseases the patient(s) may have, unless the caller is willing to divulge that information. A new bill aims to change the flow of information making everyone more prepared and safe. Yesterday, I proudly voted for Senate Bill 1110, which overwhelmingly passed the Senate by a vote of 47-3, that would require during health-related disaster declarations, such as COVID-19, 911 communication centers, police, fire and other first responders receive notification when a documented communicable disease related to that health declaration is reported in their municipality within 24-hours of receiving the information.

It is imperative that those on the front lines, helping others and putting their own lives at risk, need to be as best informed as possible to effectively do their job. Protecting those who protect us should always be of utmost importance and this bill will take that extra step in protecting those who are out on the front lines.

The bill also would require healthcare providers and nursing home administrators to report cases of communicable diseases related to an emergency health declaration to local health board or state Department of Health. The local agencies that received the notification would be required to keep the information confidential.

Senate Bill 1110 now goes to the state House of Representatives for consideration.

 

PA Extends Deadlines to Pay Back Volunteer Fire, EMS Loans

State leaders agreed to defer payments for April, May and June to assist volunteer fire, ambulance and rescue agencies during the pandemic

FireMaturity dates of loans offered to volunteer fire departments under the Volunteer Loan Assistance Program (VLAP) have been extended and the payments for the months of April, May, and June have been temporarily deferred.

There will be no interest or penalties assessed for borrowers who accept this deferment. The VLAP provides loans to volunteer fire companies, ambulance services and rescue squads for the purpose of purchasing and modernizing apparatus, facilities and equipment.

I commend State Fire Commissioner Bruce Trego and his staff as they continue to help our Commonwealth’s firefighters, and that hasn’t changed as they continue telework during Governor Wolf’s stay-at-home order.

Office of State Fire Commissioner staff provides technical assistance and regulatory guidance to applicants; receives, analyzes and approves loan applications; supplies loan closing services; maintains financial and historical files and services all accounts until they are closed.

For those borrowers who wish to decline deferment and continue to make payments, notify OSFC staff. For more information visit the OSFC web site: www.osfc.pa.gov.

Firefighter & Emergency Management FEMA Grant Programs

The application periods for multiple FEMA grants are currently open - don't miss out on your chace for this importanat fundingThe primary goal of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) Program is to enhance the safety of the public and firefighters with respect to fire-related hazards by providing direct financial assistance to eligible fire departments, nonaffiliated Emergency Medical Services organizations, and State Fire Training Academies. 

This funding is for critically needed resources to equip and train emergency personnel to recognized standards, enhance operations efficiencies, foster interoperability, and support community resilience.

The Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Grants are part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) and support projects that enhance the safety of the public and firefighters from fire and related hazards. The primary goal is to reduce injury and prevent death among high-risk populations. The Fire Prevention & Safety (FP&S) Grants Application Period is now open will open and close on Friday May 29 at 5 p.m.

FEMA is offering a COVID-19 supplemental grant opportunity via the FY2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grant ProgramThe Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants were created to provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to help them increase the number of trained, "front line" firefighters available in their communities. OPEN APPLICATION PERIOD ANNOUNCEMENT: The FY 2019 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grants (SAFER) Application Period opened on April 13, 2020 and wil close on Friday May 15 at 5 p.m.

Fiscal Year 2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grant – COVID-19 Supplemental Program (AFG-S) help provide personal protective equipment to firefighters and first responders who are managing emergencies during the Coronavirus pandemic. The application period will close at 5 p.m. ET on Friday, May 15, 2020.

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Offices of State Senator Lisa M. Boscola

www.senatorboscola.com

BETHLEHEM OFFICE
One East Broad Street
Suite 120
Bethlehem, PA 18018
(610) 868-8667
Fax: (610) 861-2184
Toll-free: 1-877-535-1818
EASTON OFFICE
1701 Washington Blvd.
Easton, PA 18042
(610) 250-5627
(610) 250-5629
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HARRISBURG OFFICE
458 Main Capitol Building
Senate Box 203018
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3018
(717) 787-4236
Fax: (717) 783-1257
Senate of PA:
1-800-364-158 (TTY)