With a view to preventing the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic to fire and emergency medical services providers and their families, the authority concerned will provide PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment) to 67 first responders in 4ć central and western Pennsylvania counties.
An $874,674 grant which will come from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was announced by U.S. Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, and it will be awarded through a supplemental Assistance to Firefighters Grant initiative that made $100 million available to fire and EMS departments nationwide.
Federal funding will enable the departments to work together to purchase PPE for firefighters, paramedics and emergency medical technicians. First responders must have sufficient supplies of PPE in order to safely treat and transport potential COVID-19 victims.
Due to the demands of both emergency services and private industry during the pandemic, PPE has become increasingly difficult and expensive to find. Prices have nearly doubled for some items.
The Nanty Glo Fire Company acted as the host for the regional program, titled the Comprehensive Operation and Vision — Against Infectious Diseases Task Force.
Career and volunteer fire companies, as well as EMS services from Allegheny, Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Centre, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Fayette, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, Washington and Westmoreland counties, are participating in the regional program.
Together, these departments have 2,635 career and volunteer firefighters and EMS staffers serving a population of 871,839 people. The regional application will use FEMA funding and local matching funds to purchase thousands of N-95 and surgical masks, face shields, foot covers, medical gowns, hazmat coveralls and nitrile examination gloves.