We suggest the following resources for State and Federal Grant Opportunities and Information:

Office of the PA State Fire Commissioner

FEMA Grant Information

Federal Government Funding Sources


Grants.gov is your source to FIND and APPLY for federal grants. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is proud to be the managing partner for Grants.gov, an initiative that is having an unparalleled impact on the grant community. Learn more about Grants.gov and determine if you are eligible for grant opportunities offered on this site.

United States Department Of Agriculture Rural Development Loans/Grants

The agriculture department issues loans/grants to rural fire and EMS departments for new buildings, apparatus, and equipment.

United States Department of Agriculture
Rural Development
Community Facilities Program
One Credit Union Place, Suite 330
Harrisburg, PA 17110

Contact Tonya St.Clair at 610-791-9810 x112

Rural Community Fire Protection

Numerous state forestry agencies and/or natural resources departments offer grants that have been made available through the federal government. In Pennsylvania, contact the following:

Bureau of Forestry-Division of Forest Fire Protection— Rural Fire Companies only
Market Street
P.O. Box 8552
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8552
(717) 787-2925
(717) 787-2703

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9 hours ago


Thank You - Chief Dave Nelson from Whitehall Township for advocating at the local level. One Vision, One Voice we can make a difference! ... See MoreSee Less

Thank You - Chief Dave Nelson from Whitehall Township for advocating at the local level. One Vision, One Voice we can make a difference!

16 hours ago


Thank you to Jerry Brant from Cambria County for engaging at the local level! ... See MoreSee Less

Thank you to Jerry Brant from Cambria County for engaging at the local level!

Comment on Facebook

Fourteen companies needed to respond....and even if all this legislation tied to SR6 passes, you will still need fourteen companies to provide sufficient fire protection in Tyrone!

The sad truth is, it will get a lot worse before serious efforts take place to reverse the current situation. For example you call 911and no one responds. The customers (community) will finally realize what has happened.

2 days ago


16 & 17 Year Olds and Interior FF - Survey Results - Over 1,400 responses were received - Thank You!

It is important to remember at this time, this is NOT a law or policy.

PFESI provides independent advice to members and staff of the General Assembly, the Administration, county and local government officials, and other statewide organizations.

Pennsylvania is at a critical time and out of the box thinking will be needed at all level to ensure essential community fire and emergency response.

The complete survey can be downloaded at this link: pfesi.org/pfesi-initiatives/
... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

The way that some programs move in this state, when an individual (16/7) start an Essentials or FF1/FF2 program, they dont finish until after they're 18. I personally am for allowing them to complete the training, but maybe the programs themselves need to be looked at.

Wow reading all these negative comments about it is shocking. When I went through the process 30 years ago as long as my parents and Cheif sign off I could participate in only a training environment. That allowed me to get into other classes. Today, I can sign off on my child in junior year in high school to enlist in the military but everyone is flipping shit about Mod 4 training....a controlled environment training. 16 year and 6 months we trust these kids with a drivers license to drive a car by themselves, but can't send them to a 56 hour course? And people wonder why young kids are losing interest! I trust my instructors locally that I would have signed off on my 3 sons and step son at 16 to obtain their Mod 4. And I hope this passes soon. My step son will be leaving for college at 17. Meaning at it may be 4 years before he can do Mod 4. How much will change in the fire service that would he be allowed in Mod 4 in 4 years?

Okay so I am going to go against the grain here a little. Allowing 16/17 year olds to complete all modules of the essentials program and or Firefighter I&II is not a bad idea and is already successful in other states, ie Ohio in their high school programs. This allows these individuals upon graduation and or turning 18 to become interior firefighters or even better gain employment as a firefighter. Their training would be no different at 16/17 or 40 meeting the same standards requirements and NFPA guidelines. It would be a mechanism to train them at an early age and foster their experience getting them ready with experience when they are old enough to take that line in the door.

Thank you. On it.

How about we tackle the issue instead of coming up with asinine ideas that won’t fix anything (and we all know it, but until egos are gone nothing will change). Consolidate fire stations and hire firefighters. Problem solved.

So, you cant buy Tobacco until you're 21 in Pa but they think being an interior firefighter is ok at 16? So, if that doesnt work we go to 12 or 10? I would imagine proper fire department funding would do more good.

There are basics in surveying - you can get the result you want based on who you poll. Here’s the reality: underdeveloped decision making in high pressure conditions will lead to thin decision making. This leads to life risk of both actors and support. As much as I want the problem to go away this is NOT the way to make it go away.

How about we try a real solution like supplemental paid staffing that is trained and experienced rather than using inexperienced children?

Lowering the standard because volunteer numbers are down Nd peopleare struggling.. id rather struggle than sit in court when a 16-17 year old kills someone or gets killed...if

37.9% of firefighters polled are delusional

I would not have 16 years I would even up it 20/21 of age

Jordan Isaac Zachary Bilder


Mark Kirchgasser

So apparently Paul R. Tate couldn't handle the truth

37.9% of firefighters polled are junior members

Wow, at least you weeded out 537 morons

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2 days ago


Thank you Assistant Chief Allen Clark, Fellow's Club Volunteer Fire Company (Crawford County) for engaging and advocating with members of the General Assembly! ... See MoreSee Less

Thank you Assistant Chief Allen Clark, Fellows Club Volunteer Fire Company (Crawford County) for engaging and advocating with members of the General Assembly!

3 days ago


Advocating for your fire service organization is critically important! PFESI would like to recognize Captain Ellen Yarborough from South Media Fire Company (Delaware County) for meeting with Senator Tim Kearney and Chief of Staff Sara McCullough from the 26th Senatorial District. Thank you Ellen! ... See MoreSee Less

Advocating for your fire service organization is critically important! PFESI would like to recognize Captain Ellen Yarborough from South Media Fire Company (Delaware County) for meeting with Senator Tim Kearney and Chief of Staff Sara McCullough from the 26th Senatorial District. Thank you Ellen!
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Surplus federal property is often available through state departments of surplus and/or auction agencies.

Department of General Services
2221 Forster Street
Harrisburg, PA 17105
(717) 787-6159 Federal-operator will direct
State-please use extensions 3208, 3222

Bureau of Supplies and Surplus Operations
P.O. Box 1365
2221 Forester Street
Harrisburg, PA 17105
(717) 787-6078


These are highly competitive programs funded by the federal government. The funds are available to local governments for special projects, including fire and life safety protection.
To receive information, contact the CDBG Coordinator at your county court house or the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Department of Housing and Urban Development
Room 7282
451 7th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20410
(202) 708-1577


If you organization is in close proximity to a military or federal installation and you provide services at no cost, financial resources could be available to your department through the installations annual budget or some other sources. In addition, base commanders are often willing to work with local departments to establish a mutual aid plan that could work in your benefit. Remember, those bases are paid for by everyone’s tax dollars. Take advantage of this opportunity.


This federal agency has a reimbursement program for emergency services that respond to Haz-Mat incidents.
Contact the Superfund Hotline at (800) 424-9346


The Department of Transportation has a grant program for emergency service personnel who respond to haz-mat incidents. Please contact your county Emergency Management Coordinator for more information.


This program is similar to the Military base Agreement program. It is administered by the United States Fire Administration and assists local emergency organizations find out if they are eligible for reimbursement of expenses incurred while providing services on federal property.

United States Fire Administration
16825 South Seton Avenue
Emmitsburg, MD 21727
(800) 238-3358


The agriculture department issues loans to rural fire and EMS departments for new buildings, apparatus, and equipment.

Department of Agriculture
Rural Development Administration
Community Facilities Division
14th and Independence Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20250
(202) 720-4323


This division of the DOT has provided funding for EMS issues and highway safety.

NHTSA Office of Enforcement and Emergency Services
400 7th Street
NTS-13, Room 5130
Washington, DC 20590
(202) 366-4913


This agency has funded grants for rural EMS projects and the development of 911 systems.

Health Resource and Services Administration
Outreach Program
Parklawn Building, Room 905
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, Maryland 20857
(301) 443-0835



This agency is primarily supported and is jointly administered by the US Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Emergency Medical Services for Children
National Resource Center
111 Michigan Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20010-2970
(202) 884-4927
Fax: (301) 650-8045

State Funding Sources


A well known statewide program for Fire, Rescue, and Emergency Medical Service organizations. This program has had many successful years helping the Pennsylvania emergency services. Benefits of the program include new vehicles and equipment, building construction and renovations, turnout gear, and radio equipment. A one-time loan is available for a computer and/or software to implement the Voluntary Incident Reporting System.

Office of the State Fire Commissioner
Volunteer Loan Assistance Program
PO Box 3321
Harrisburg, PA 17105
(717) 651-2200 or (800) 670-3473


This state administered program is funded from a surcharge on moving traffic violations issued by police agencies in the Pennsylvania. The funds are distributed to the 16 regional EMS councils and then on to local groups and organizations. The money can be used for numerous projects.

Division of Emergency Medical Services
Health and Welfare Building
Room 912
PO Box 90
Harrisburg, PA 17108
(717) 787-8740
(717) 772-0910 fax


This financial assistance program for Pennsylvania’s firefighter’s has been distributed to municipalities across the state since 1895. The funds are collected from a two percent foreign fire insurance tax levied on fire insurance premiums. The money can be used for safety, training and related items.

Department of the Auditor General
Bureau of Firefighter Relief Assoc. Audits
Room 40 1/2,
Finance Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120
(717) 787-1308


This program is the same as the federal program except it is for state surplus property.

Department of General Services
2221 Forster Street
Harrisburg, PA 17105
(717) 787-6159 Ext. 3222, 3208


This grant, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, will financial assistance of up to $2,500.00 to statewide farm organizations, volunteer fire companies, ambulance services, and rescue squads that wish to develop and deliver farm safety, occupational health and emergency response programs.

Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
Bureau of Plant Industry
2301 North Cameron Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110-9408
(717) 772-5205

Local Funding Sources


Taxes and fees are the most common source of income for municipalities in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Emergency service organizations can benefit directly from this source of revenue through annual allocations to local organizations or budget increases. The types of taxes and fees are numerous. Local governments that are currently using specific methods and some additional examples are listed below.
Borough of Lewistown, PA
c/o Dave Frey, Borough Manager
Lewistown, PA
(717) 248-1361

  • nuisance alarm fee administered by regional police department
  • annual Fire Prevention Fee
  • conducted by both codes and fire department personnel
  • money collected goes into general fund and is used to fund annual fire company allocation

Millersburg, PA
Upper Paxton Township
(717) 692-4655
Millersburg Fire Company (717) 692-2121

  • 1 mill fire tax in place of annual solicitation

Upper Allen Township
c/o Police Corporal David Spotts
100 Gettysburg Pike
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055 (717) 766-0756
-nuisance alarm fee
-not a significant source of income

Borough of Bally, PA
c/o Bob Moll, Borough Manager
P.O. Box 217
Bally, PA 19503
(610) 845-2351
-nuisance alarm fee
Other Means

  • Property tax for fire protection
  • Alarm fees
  • Local sales tax
  • Private sector training fees
  • Controlled burn permits
  • Building fees
  • Extrication/rescue fees
  • Fire Code fees
  • Stand-by fees
  • Inspection fees


This is also known as merging, consolidating, and regionalization of services. The idea of sharing equipment, manpower, and facilities has been around for a long time. Mergers, consolidations, and regionalizations are occurring in PA at an increasing rate. The idea is gaining momentum as budgets tighten at every level of government.


Privatization is another method that municipalities are using to control their costs. More and more government entities are starting to have outside, for-profit enterprises provide services. These include garbage collection, street sweeping, and preventative maintenance.


National, Local, and Community Service Clubs One untapped area of funding is corporations, charitable foundations and service clubs. Countless dollars are distributed every year to projects that benefit the well being of the general public. These funds may be available through Lions Clubs, Veterans of Foreign War Posts, Jaycees, social clubs and businesses of all sizes. You may wish to contact the Development Officer at your local college or medical facility to determine if assistance is available by accessing foundation directories or guides. This information may also be available in libraries, telephone books, banks or by just writing a letter to local community service organizations. Be prepared for formal budgetary reports and presentations about what you plan to do with contributions. A specific project or goal usually receives a better response.

Allstate Safety Leadership Award -Organizations and businesses that conducted a successful home, auto, or personal safety program for the public during the year. Separate national and community-based grants awarded. Individuals requesting information should call (847) 402-5335

Both of these organizations are research centers for assistance in organizational grantwriting:

The Foundation Center
79 5th Ave.
New York, NY
(800) 424-9836

The Grantsmanship Center
P.O. Box 17220
Los Angelas, CA 90017
(213) 482-9860

Traditional and Not So Traditional Fund Raising Techniques

In the future, it is obvious that funding will become a critical problem for emergency service organizations. In an attempt to curve less than desirable fund raising events, we have listed below numerous money making ideas that have met with success all across Pennsylvania and the Nation. Please feel to contact these people at your leisure.


Millersburg Fire Company #1
Upper Paxton Township (717) 692-4655
Millersburg, PA (717) 692-2121
-1 mill fire tax in place of annual solicitation

Rural Community Fire Protection Institute
660 Adams Avenue
Suite 301
Montgomery, Alabama 36104
(334) 263-3526 -annual dinner and vendor show

Hedgesville Volunteer Fire Department
c/o Keena M. Most
88 Pinewood Hills
Hedgesville. WV 25427
(304) 754-7603
-celebrity auction
-soap box derby races
-remote control race car events
-fun fair

Rose Fire Company New Freedom, PA
(717) 235-4444
-bull roast

Clearview Fire Company
411 North George Street
Hanover, PA 17331
(717) 637-8760
-basket bingo

Bernville Community Fire Co. #1
RD #1, P.O. Box 161 Bernville, PA 19506
(610) 488-6592
-Created a business for profit (storage firm)

Alert Fire Company #1
3118 North George Street
P.O. Box 136
Emigsville, PA 17318
(717) 764-1148
-Deal with local caterers to use station kitchen for outside events

Grantley Fire Company and Ambulance
918 Virginia Ave.
York, PA 17403
(717) 843-4112
-joint fund raisers sharing cost, manpower, and profits

McSherrystown Fire Company
238 Main Street
McSherrystown, PA 17344
(717) 637-9171
-Nascar drawing

Goodwill Fire Company of Bally
537 Chestnut Street
Bally, PA 19503
(610) 845-2000
-filled swimming pools for profit


Allen Clark and Kim Houser
Alternative Funding Sources
7 Stewart Street
Salina, PA 15680
(412) 697-4109
-funding seminars

Curtis 1000
c/o Mr. Barry Lipschutz
Account Manager
PO Box 130
Dover, PA 17315
(800) 776-0997 Voice mail 518
-all types of fund raising envelopes
-serves South Central PA, will connect you with a salesperson in your area

Volunteer’s Financial Services, Inc.
223 Hayes Street
Bristol, Pa 19007
all types of fund raising

Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations
c/o Joseph Geiger
132 State Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101
-all types of services for

Laurel Mt. Leasing
c/o Ken Parker
115 West Main Street, Suite 9
Liganier, PA 15658
(800) 214-4606
Web Site: www.westol.com/~Laurel Mt. -various equipment/leasing options

Anchor Enterprises
1709 South Harbor
Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 849-2167
-selling CD’s or cassette tapes

Choice Marketing
c/o Chip Miller
Sales Representatives
P.O. Box 4040
Elwyn, PA 19063
(215) 494-1270
-all types of fundraising
-public relations

Municipal Marketing Services
c/o Steven Newell
1038 Perrry Highway
Pittsburgh, PA 15237
(800) 606-2274
-all types of fundraising

EMS Consulting
c/o Debbie McDowell
P.O. Box 522
Honey Brook, PA 19344
(610) 273-2440
-assistance in all areas PA nonprofit organizations of nonprofit fundraising

Entertainment Publications, Inc.
Fund Raising Division
c/o Jennifer Gaetaniello
1503 North Cedar Crest Blvd., Suite 107
Roma Corporate Center
Allentown, PA 18104
(800) 368-6569 or (610) 776-1333

We Need Your Help

We need your help to improve our fire and emergency service funding guide. Hopefully this project will assist you and your organization in your fund raising efforts. If you would like to add ideas to the next issue of this funding guide or would like to make comments or suggestions, please contact us at 1-800-FIRE LINE or PFSI.org