LANGHORNE, PA – Today, August 4, 2021, Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) announced the Bensalem Rescue Squad has received a FY 2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist with equipping and training emergency personnel to recognized standards, enhance operational efficiencies, foster interoperability, and support community resilience.
The Bensalem Rescue Squad received a total of $188,409.01 through the AFG Program. The purpose of the AFG Program is to award grants directly to fire departments, nonaffiliated emergency medical services (EMS) organizations, and State Fire Training Academies to enhance their ability to protect the health and safety of the public, as well as that of first-responder personnel. Using a competitive process that is informed by fire service subject matter experts, grants are awarded to eligible applicants whose applications best address the priorities of the AFG Program. Since fiscal year (FY) 2001, the AFG Program has awarded approximately $7.7 billion in grants to provide critically needed resources. The total amount appropriated for the FY 2020 AFG Program initiative is $355 million.
“For far too long, both paid and volunteer Fire & EMS Departments across the Commonwealth and throughout the nation have seen a steep decline in personnel,” said Fitzpatrick. “It is imperative that we support all EMS units and give them the necessary support so we can ensure when we call 9-1-1, they can do their job. This grant will go a long way in ensuring the longevity of the Bensalem Rescue Squad who have been on the front lines since the onset of the pandemic and during the latest natural disasters that ravaged the region. As a Certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), I am proud to have supported the Bensalem Rescue Squad during their application process and will continue to assist the squad in any way possible.”
“I want to thank Congressman Fitzpatrick for working to secure this grant for the Bensalem Rescue Squad,” said Senator Tommy Tomlinson. “As we have seen over the past few weeks, a strong emergency services organization are absolutely critical, this funding will help guarantee that Bensalem is always prepared for whatever may come.”
“I can’t say enough about our Bensalem Rescue Squad especially after all of their efforts over the last few weeks,” said Representative K.C. Tomlinson. “There is no better time than now for them to receive this grant. Thank you to Congressman Fitzpatrick for working with us and fighting for us.”
“The COVID Pandemic continues to impact the resources and operations of our Bensalem Rescue Squad,” said Mayor Joe DiGirolamo. “This Assistance Grant from the Department of Homeland Security comes at a critical time for our Rescue Squad, providing much needed funding to our Emergency Medical Personnel. The recent tornado and flood that struck our community in the past weeks demonstrated, again, how crucial our Emergency Services are to our residents. On behalf of the citizens of Bensalem Township, I thank our Congressman, Brian Fitzpatrick, for all of his efforts in helping to secure this Assistance Grant for our Rescue Squad.”
Last month Congressman Fitzpatrick met with the Bensalem Rescue Squad along with state and local officials to discuss the ongoing funding issues EMS units face locally and throughout the region. Currently, FEMA is on round 3 of the competitive FY 2020 AFG announcements and will continue to announce AFG grants on a weekly basis. This program is administered by the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration.