McKeesport– May 16, 2022 – With National EMS Week commencing on the heels of the announcement of a historic state revenue surplus, state Sen. Jim Brewster today urged the General Assembly to invest $1 billion to bolster emergency medical services organizations across the state.
“This is the week where we take time to sing the praises of our critical first responders, but we need to put more money behind those words,” Brewster said. “Frontline caregivers put themselves and their families at great risk to continue providing service through the pandemic. Any plans for recovery spending must include significant investment in preserving their future.”
Two weeks ago, Gov. Tom Wolf announced that April revenue collections of $1.8 billion were the highest for any month in state history, pushing the General Fund surplus to $8 billion and beyond.
In addition, Pennsylvania is sitting on more than $2 billion in unused American Rescue Plan funds and $2 billion in the Rainy Day Fund.
Brewster said EMS agencies in his district are struggling to recruit, fundraise and replace expensive equipment.
“When you dial 9-1-1 in an emergency, we’ve come to expect the best care and service in the world,” Brewster said. “But keeping that high level of training and technology is expensive and time consuming. The General Assembly needs to step up to ensure the continuation of top-tier service to communities.”
Brewster said depreciating equipment could result in increasing insurance costs, hitting the pockets of homeowners.