REGION—State Representative Mike Peifer (R-139th) announced via press release on Monday, Feb 6, that $285,000 was awarded in grant money to local fire and ems companies in Wayne and Pike counties.

This portion is part of a larger pool of funds generated annually since 2000 from gaming revenue that supplies companies across the entire state with revenue to build or repair facilities, purchase equipment, reduce debt and train company members.

“People really seem to look forward to it,” stated Peifer's Media Contact Morgan Dux.

In the release, Peifer is quoted as saying “I am pleased to see these much-needed funds return to Wayne and Pike counties. Our local fire and emergency service companies provide a great service to the community and this money will ensure they can continue to do so for years to come.”

Recipients this year for Wayne County were Beach Lake Volunteer Fire Co., Gouldsboro Volunteer Fire Co., Gouldsboro Amublance Squad, Inc., Greene-Dreher Volunteer Fire Association, Hamlin Fire and Rescue Co., Hawley Fire Department, Lakeville Volunteer Fire Co., Prompton Fire and Rescue Unit and Welcome Lake Fire Co. Together, these nine companies received a total of $117,733.78, with Hamlin being awarded funds for both its fire company and its emergency medical services squad.

According to Hawley Fire Department Treasurer and Deputy Fire Chief, Eugene Krause, their awarded $12,616 is going towards paying down a loan they took out to purchase a new rescue truck.

“We're always happy to get some money,” Krause stated, emphasizing how every little bit helps them run the daily functions of their station more easily.

According to Krause, Hawley FD happily received between six and seven hundred dollars more this year than last.

The funding pool is open to every fire company and volunteer ambulance corp in the state of Pennsylvania.

According to the advertisement supplied by Dux for this year's funding applications, the maximum application amounts for fire companies is $15,000 and the most that volunteer ambulance corps can apply for is $10,000.

A total of $30 million is ready to be divided among all the applicants this year, trying to get as close to their requests as possible while still ensuring most everyone that applied and turned in the proper paperwork got something.

In order to get the funds they applied for, companies must be sure to fill out grant agreement forms. As PA Fire Commissioner Tim Solobay explains in a press release, “Once the grant agreements are returned, and they are reviewed, the money is disbursed.”

He added later “Detailed instructions are available online, and we are available to help anyone who needs assistance.”

According to Krause, Hawley FD has applied for the last five or six years and has been able to get at least something every time.

Applications for next year's grant pool will likely be due in the fall as they were for the 2016-17 grants. Fire and ambulance companies in need are advised to be attentive to the deadline and make sure to get all the necessary information from Solobay's office.