Firefighting & Politics – 1Q 2022 Newsletter

Apr 3, 2022 | Legislation

Pennsylvania Legislators make decisions that affect nearly every areas of our life. We have provided below legislation that was introduced during the First Quarter of 2022 that may affect you and your department. If you have questions and/or concerns about any of this legislation, you should reach our directly to your PA Senator or PA Representative.


January 6, 2022

 

Fire Course Registry

Senator Stefano plans to introduce legislation that would create an online registry of fire courses for firefighters — similar to what is maintained within the Department of Health’s Bureau of EMS for medical responders, EMTs and paramedics. For more information, click here.


January 13, 2022

 

ARPA Funding for Fire Companies

Senator Kearney plans to introduce legislation to use American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act funds to cover financial losses suffered by fire companies during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Introduced as Senate Bill 1084. For more information, click here.


January 24, 2022

 

Keystone Fire Responder Award

Representative Mackenzie plans to introduce legislation to create the Keystone First Responder Award. The Keystone First Responder Award will recognize those public servants who were either killed or suffered a career ending injury in the line of duty. For more information, click here.


January 25, 2022

 

Public Safety Authorities

Representative Guenst plans to introduce legislation that would amend the Municipal Authorities Act (Chapter 56 of Title 53) to give counties the option to create Public Safety Authorities, which may be used to provide services for firefighting and/or EMS. Individual municipalities would be able to join or not join if they so choose, and rather than replacing our incredible volunteer and career fire and EMS companies, authorities would exist to support them and their work. For more information, click here.


January 28, 2022

 

Installation of Dry Hydrants

In rural and suburban areas there are often residences and businesses which have higher insurance costs because there are no fire hydrants in proximity. In many such areas local firemen must climb down stream banks, often in full gear and in inclement weather, to deploy a hose to draw water from the stream or river. This can be dangerous, especially in extreme weather conditions. Senator Dush plans to introduce legislation to require PennDOT to incorporate into the design and construction of all new and replacement bridges and box culverts a dry hydrant when it is determined there are no hydrants within the distance the Fire Commissioner and generally accepted insurance actuaries determine the risk increases liability to property owners. For more information, click here.


February 9, 2022

 

Direct EMS Reimbursement

Senator Muth plans to introduce legislation to introduce companion legislation to HB1293, Representative Masser’s bill to address a longstanding billing issue plaguing our emergency services providers in this Commonwealth. For more information, click here.


February 17, 2022

 

Volunteer Firefighter Driver’s License Designation

Representative Snyder plans to introduce legislation that would provide volunteer firefighters with an option to have a “volunteer firefighter” designation placed on their driver’s license. Volunteer fire departments are often cash-strapped and cannot afford to create membership cards. This proposed legislation would establish an alternative identification source, while also providing some assistance to our struggling volunteer fire departments and recognition to those who, when called upon, do their best to keep us safe. Introduced as House Bill 2440. For more information, click here.


February 18, 2022

 

Funding for EMS Certification

Senator Brooks plans to introduce legislation to provide $3 million from federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to establish a program to pay for individuals to earn their initial EMS certification from a Pennsylvania EMS educational institute. For more information, click here.


February 22, 2022

 

Funding for Local First Responders

Representative Kulik plans to introduce legislation to create an emergency services fund in each municipality across the Commonwealth to provide additional funding to local fire and EMS companies. A small $25 fee paid by both the buyer and seller of real property within 15 days of closing would be deposited into the fund. This money could then be used by both volunteer and paid fire and EMS companies to purchase vehicles and equipment, pay staff, and acquire other necessary items. For more information, click here.


February 23, 2022

 

Direct EMS Reimbursement

Senators Muth and Brooks plan to introduce companion legislation to House Bill 1293, Representative Masser’s bill, to address a longstanding billing issue plaguing our emergency services providers in this Commonwealth. This proposed legislation will amend Act 284 of 1921, known as the Insurance Company Law to require insurance carriers to reimburse ambulance companies for 911 emergency medical services provided regardless of whether the EMS agency is part of the insurance carrier’s network. For more information, click here.

Blood Type Inclusion on Driver’s Licenses and Identification Cards

Representative Burgos plans to introduce legislation to require the inclusion of an individual’s blood type on their driver’s license or identification card. This will give first responders an added tool to better care for victims involved in a vehicle crash and will help save lives. For more information, click here.


March 1, 2022

 

Volunteer Emergency Responder Training Assistance

Representative Irvin plans to introduce legislation that will assist volunteer emergency responders by returning the Full-Time Equivalency (FTE) reimbursement program for community college funding and expanding it to allow emergency response training to be applied toward a college degree, relevant to public safety and emergency management. For more information, click here.


March 2, 2022

 

Act 111 Police and Fire Arbitration Reform Package

Police officers and firefighters provide valuable services to our communities. With that said, in recent years, the public has been calling for increasing transparency and reforms in the collective bargaining process for police officers. Act 111 provides these special classes of public servants with certain rights and arbitration when negotiating collective bargaining agreements. However, we need to examine this law and ensure that it meets the modern standards set by the people these public servants protect. Representative Bullock plans to introduce a legislation to accomplish these goals. For more information, click here.


March 8, 2022

 

Pilot Program for Fire Companies with SGOC License to Conduct Two Online Raffles in Upcoming Year

Senator Brooks plans to introduce legislation to establish a pilot program for fire companies with a Small Games of Chance license to conduct two online raffles in the upcoming year. This will assist these already struggling fire departments, who are lacking both monetary resources and manpower, to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and loss of income while continuing to provide critical services to our communities. For more information, click here.


March 29, 2022

 

Modernizing Urban Search and Rescue Operations in Western PA

Representatives Mihalek and Miller plans to introduce legislation to create a second PA Task Force Urban Search & Rescue team, based in Allegheny County, to assume primary coverage in the west. For more information, click here.


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