The Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee today approved a measure to review Pennsylvania’s progress in providing essential support to its volunteer fire departments and EMS organizations, according to Senator Randy Vulakovich, committee chairman and prime sponsor of the measure.
Senate Resolution 6 calls for a “reboot” of Senate Resolution 60 of 2003, the comprehensive study of fire and EMS issues completed in 2004. SR 6 calls for a new commission made up of legislators, first responders and representatives from municipalities. The panel would follow up on the impact of SR 60 and study issues currently affecting first responders. The commission would then provide its recommendations to the General Assembly by June 30, 2018.
“Fourteen years after SR 60, Pennsylvania’s first responders face many of the same challenges now as they did back then such as the loss of volunteers and the exorbitant costs of apparatus and training,” Senator Vulakovich said. “With the start of the legislative session, the timing is right to ‘reboot’ this process by reviewing the 23 recommendations made by the SR 60 Commission. We need to see what was accomplished and what remains to be done.”
Senator Vulakovich and his fellow chairmen of the Senate and House Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committees held a press conference on Monday (January 23) to unveil SR 6 and discuss a 16-bill package of legislation to complement and build on previous efforts to help Pennsylvania’s first responders. Video of the press conference.
The Committee also approved Senate Bill 137 at its Wednesday meeting. The measure, introduced by Senator McGarrigle, would codify the Civil Air Patrol’s state operations in Title 51 under the leadership of the Adjutant General.
“The Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, often flies under the radar with its mission, which is to assist Pennsylvania’s emergency responders with search and rescue, disaster relief support, homeland security, emergency transport services, and communications support,” said Sen. Vulakovich. “This legislation will help solidify their role in state government.”
SR 6 and SB 137 now go to the full Senate for consideration.
Contact: Nate Silcox (717) 787-6538 firstname.lastname@example.org