Rescuing the Rescuers: Helping Save Our Volunteer Fire, EMS Companies

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Weekly News Update


 The latest news from the State Capitol

Rescuing the Rescuers: Helping Save Our Volunteer Fire, EMS Companies

This week, a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House and Senate unveiled a 16-bill package to support fire and ambulance services across the Commonwealth.

The legislation is designed to address growing financial costs faced by companies, the shortage of volunteers and the lack of affordable and easily accessible training options.

On the funding side, measures within the package seek to raise Medicaid reimbursement rates, increase surcharges on moving violations to support the Emergency Medical Services Operating Fund, and provide new billing options for fire departments and EMS organizations.

To address the volunteer shortage, the package includes bills to promote recruitment and retention by offering online training to make the process more convenient, provide loan forgiveness to attract volunteers, develop a pilot program to offer firefighter training in secondary schools, and offer tax credits to businesses that excuse their employees when they need to respond to emergencies or undergo training.
Getting to Work with House Committee Assignments

This week, the House Committee on Committees met to finalize assignments for the 27 standing committees to cover the 2017-18 legislative session.

This term, I will be serving as the chairman of the House Tourism and Recreational Development Committee, and I will also be serving on the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. These assignments allow me to have a greater insight into the legislation and issues discussed and help me better represent our district.

All bills are assigned to a standing committee to undergo review. Committees may hold hearings on legislation, consider amendments to pending bills and report them to the full House for a vote.
Emergency Programs Can Save Lives

To help first responders help motorists and passengers who may be injured in car crashes, PennDOT offers two programs aimed at saving the lives of Pennsylvanians in emergency situations – the Yellow Dot and Emergency Contact Information programs.

Participants in Yellow Dot fill out the program form with emergency contact, medical contact and medical information, insert it in the program’s folder and then place it in their vehicle’s glove compartment. A yellow dot sticker affixed to the rear window alerts emergency responders to the availability of information to help them provide better care to crash victims.

The Emergency Contact Information program offers Pennsylvania driver’s license and PennDOT-issued ID holders the opportunity to log into a secure database and list two emergency contacts. Participants can update the information as needed, but only law enforcement officials can view the information in the system. In the event of an emergency, law enforcement can use a participant’s ID to find his or her emergency contact information.

The Yellow Dot program is used only in vehicle crashes, but the Emergency Contact Information program can be used in other emergencies as well as crashes.

To learn more, click here.

Around Our Community

Trevor Hartman, a member of Boy Scout Troop No. 51 from Millville, met with me this week as part of his Citizenship in the Community merit badge. 
Scenes from the PA Fair Convention

Last week, I attended the PA State Fair Convention in Hershey. The mission of the convention is to promote the growth and improvement of agricultural fairs, associations and societies within the Commonwealth; to educate and to provide for the exchange of information among members; and to educate and provide for the exchange of information between the membership, the general public, and agencies for the betterment of the fairs and the fair industry. 

Pictured with me is Doofus the kangaroo from Bar C Ranch.
Birth Certificates Applications Available in My District Offices

Birth and death certificate applications are available in my district offices, located in Berwick at 904B Orange St. and in Bloomsburg at 1000 Market St., Suite 39. Bring a valid driver’s license or photo identification and a check or money order for $20 to ensure timely processing. For more information, contact my Berwick office at 570-759-8734 or my Bloomsburg office at 570-387-0246.
Wear Red Feb. 3 to Raise Awareness of Women’s Heart Disease

Women across the country are encouraged to wear red on Friday, Feb. 3, as part of the “Go Red for Women” campaign to raise awareness of women’s heart disease. Legislative efforts over the years have made the official designation in Pennsylvania as a way to remind women of the risks of heart disease.

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women each year, causing one in three deaths each year, or about one per minute. According to the American Heart Association, 90 percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.

The symptoms of heart disease can be different in women vs. men, and are often misunderstood. By increasing awareness, speaking up about heart disease and empowering women to reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease, we can save thousands of lives each year.
Upcoming Events

• The Early Bird Sports Expo will be held at the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds from Thursday, Jan. 26, through Sunday, Jan. 29.
• The Espy Fire Department’s indoor yard sale will be held on Saturday, Jan. 28, at 8 a.m.
• The Quarter Carnival will be held at the Berwick YMCA on Saturday, Jan. 28, from 1-5 p.m.
• A representative from the American Legion will be in the Bloomsburg district office on Tuesday, Jan. 31, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. by appointment. Call 570-387-0246 to make an appointment.
• A representative from Congressman Lou Barletta’s office will be in the Bloomsburg district office on Thursday, Feb. 9, from 1-3 p.m.
• The N4C’s will hold its annual craft show on Saturday, Feb. 4, at 10 a.m.
• Offices will be closed on Monday, Feb. 20, for Presidents Day.
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Office Locations
904B Orange St., Berwick PA, 18603 | Phone: (570) 759-8734
Market Street Plaza, 1000 Market St. (Suite 39), Bloomsburg, PA 17815 | (570) 387-0246
316 Main Capitol, PO Box 202109, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2109 | Phone: (717) 783-1102
TTY: 855-282-0614