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​COVID-19 Crisis Fire, Rescue, and EMS Grant

Page last updated 11/4/2020.

  • *NEW DOCUMENT: Frequently Asked Questions When Accessing Your Grant Agreement (PDF)
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    The ​COVID-19 Crisis Fire, Rescue, and EMS Grant program registration period is now closed.

    The purpose of this grant is to provide some much needed financial assistance to first responders who have found it difficult to keep their operations running due to COVID-19. As stated in Act 26, the money must be used for operational and equipment expenses.

    Update on Eligible Expenditures

    Updated October 9, 2020

    Message from State Fire Commissioner Bruce Trego

    Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our office has remained open to provide the necessary resources we know that you, our fire service, and EMS personnel need to fulfill your critical public safety role in the commonwealth. This work has taken many forms, including the administration of the one-time COVID-19 Crisis Fire, Rescue, and EMS Grant Program.

    Because the program is funded exclusively by the federal CARES Act, federal guidance and requirements surrounding the administration and eligible uses of CARES Act funds were updated several times. Unfortunately, these changes were out of our control and caused significant confusion and frustration not only for you, but also for OSFC staff who take tremendous pride in their work to support first responders in Pennsylvania.

    Please take the time to thoroughly review and understand the most recent guidance our office has
    received. Applicants should expect to receive grant agreements from our office over the next several
    weeks.

    Lastly, I want to thank you for your patience during this process, and your dedication to your lifesaving
    mission throughout the pandemic.

    Allowable Expenditure Updates

    The following information regarding eligible projects and services is being provided to assist eligible subrecipients with determining how the COVID-19 Crisis Fire, Rescue, and EMS Grant funds may be spent according to the state and federal guidance. Due to the most recent Federal Guidelines (updated September 2, 2020) (PDF), the following expenditures for the COVID-19 Fire, Rescue, and EMS Grant are eligible where applicable:

    Non-Profit Volunteer Fire, Rescue, or EMS Companies Only:

    Program funds may be used to supplement operational expenses incurred by the lack of opportunities for fundraising and the inability to create revenue due to compliance with measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

    • A fire, rescue, or EMS company must be able to demonstrate, if requested, that:
        • Its financial hardships are due to COVID-19, and
        • That the purpose/use of the grant will be to help offset those losses.
            • Example: If a volunteer fire, rescue, or EMS company held fundraisers in the past to pay their annual operating expenses but were prevented from holding those fundraisers due to COVID-19 restrictions, they can use grant funds from this program to cover those expenses. The United States Treasury’s Office of Inspector General, the United States Government Accountability Office, Single Audit Act auditors, and others may seek to audit CARES Act funds to determine that COVID-19 is the basis for the harm to be remediated by the grant.
    • Documentation and maintenance of the records of proceeds from past fundraisers and the loss of such during the COVID-19 pandemic (March 1 to December 30, 2020) will be the responsibility of each grant subrecipient.
        • The subrecipient will be required to include to include the documentation with its Final Report.
        • This revenue replacement allowance is for non-profit fire, rescue, and EMS companies only.

    The funds will need to be spent according to one or more of the following categories:

    • Operational Expenses – such as but not limited to:
        • Utilities
        • Insurance
        • Apparatus Repairs/Fuel
        • Personal Protective Equipment
        • Lost Revenues due to Pandemic Restrictions (see above)
    • Expenses for cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting of equipment and property or other expenses incurred to prevent the spread of communicable illnesses.

    Program funds must be utilized for eligible expenses initiated on or after March 1, 2020 and completed on or before December 30, 2020 to be considered as eligible for this grant program.

    Career/Combination Fire, Rescue, or EMS Companies – Paid Members Only:

    Program funds may be used to reimburse for the cost of paid members’ salaries and their overtime from March 1, 2020 to December 30, 2020, to the extent they qualify as public safety employees pursuant to the U.S. Treasury federal guidance (updated on September 2, 2020).

    This salary and overtime allowance does not include the provision of any payment to members of volunteer fire, rescue, or EMS companies.

    Career/Combination Fire, Rescue, or EMS companies may also use program funds as follows:

    • Operational Expenses – such as but not limited to:
        • Utilities
        • Insurance
        • Apparatus Repairs/Fuel
        • Personal Protective Equipment
    • Expenses for cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting of equipment and property or other expenses incurred to prevent the spread of communicable illnesses

    Program funds must be utilized for eligible expenses initiated on or after March 1, 2020 and completed on or before December 30, 2020 to be considered as eligible for this grant program.

    Next Steps and Additional Information

    Registration for this grant is closed.

    The grant agreements are going to be available within the next few weeks. The signatories will be notified by email.

    For additional information about the grant, review the grant guidance (updated October 7, 2020) (PDF).

    The following information was needed to complete the registration in order to receive these funds. We've kept the links below for your reference: