Governor Shapiro Highlights Commitment to Creating Safer Communities Across Pennsylvania, Discusses Commonsense Budget Investments in Fire and EMS Services in Visit to Lancaster Fire Department
April 05, 2023
Governor Shapiro’s budget proposal includes $36 million for equipment and training for firefighters and emergency responders and over $50 million for 9-1-1 services.
Lancaster, PA – Today, Governor Josh Shapiro met with local firefighters in Lancaster and shared his plans to create safer communities by investing $36 million for equipment, training, and staffing needs for firefighters and EMS providers and over $50 million in county 9-1-1 emergency communications systems.
During his visit, Governor Shapiro met with firefighters from the City of Lancaster’s Fire Bureau and members of the International Association of Firefighters and the Pennsylvania Professional Firefighters Association to hear firsthand about the support they need from the Commonwealth.
“Every Pennsylvanian deserves to be safe and feel safe in their community, and creating safer communities across the Commonwealth starts by investing in the first responders and law enforcement personnel who always have our backs – which is a top priority for my Administration,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. “My budget proposes critical investments of $36 million for EMS and fire services – including equipment, training, and salaries – and more than $50 million for 9-1-1 communications systems. These are commonsense solutions – and we must tackle these challenges together to deliver for our first responders.”
“A lot of mayors, township supervisors, and other folks across Pennsylvania will tell you that providing public safety services to their residents is an immense financial challenge,” Lancaster Mayor Danene Sorace. “We need partnership to be able to ensure that we’re able to meet the most basic needs of Pennsylvanians every day, and we are looking to the Governor and appreciate his partnership coming here today and helping us bring this message to Harrisburg. Governor Shapiro’s budget offers needed support to cities like Lancaster to maintain and elevate our fire bureau’s work.”
“We must recognize the vital role that our firefighters, EMS providers, and 911 dispatch centers play in keeping our communities safe,” said Lancaster City Bureau of Fire Chief Todd Hutchinson. “Supporting firefighters and first responders with funding is an essential way to ensure that they have the resources they need to continue to protect our communities and keep us safe. I would like to thank Governor Shapiro for his support and dedication for making all of Pennsylvania a safer place to live and continuing to give our first responders the tools and resources needed to do our jobs.”
Pennsylvania is facing a shortage of firefighters, first responders, and EMS providers across the local communities and counties who rely on these critical workers to help keep their communities safe. In 2018, Pennsylvania had 22,000 fewer volunteer firefighters than in the early 2000s and at least 6,000 fewer emergency medical technicians compared to 2012, while 20 percent of full-time 9-1-1 communications jobs are currently unfilled statewide.
Governor Shapiro knows that first responders and local governments and counties are the ones on the frontlines supporting Pennsylvania communities and families. His first budget proposal offers a set of commonsense solutions that make critical investments to create safer communities and support firefighters and first responders, including:
- A $36 million increase for EMS and fire services, including equipment, training, and salaries to support them and grow our ranks of first responders.
- Over $50 million for 9-1-1 emergency communications systems – and ties that funding to the cost of living so it keeps up with rising costs.
- A $1.5 million investment – a 266 percent increase – in the Municipal Assistance Program to support local governments and help counties share resources to implement emergency support services and lead community revitalization efforts.
- The creation of the Public Safety and Protection Fund, which will sustainably fund the Pennsylvania State Police to recruit and retain well-staffed, well-funded, and well-trained officers. Governor Shapiro’s budget also proposes a tax credit of up to $2,500 for new officers to help communities hire police officers at every level.
Learn more about Governor Shapiro’s comprehensive approach to creating safer communities here: shapirobudget.pa.gov.