Causer supports bill for EMS grants. See story below.
State police in two area counties investigate cyber crimes…Smethport driver cited for speeding after one-vehicle crash….Causer votes in favor of EMS grants……
State police in two counties are investigating cyber crimes. A 67 year old Emporium man told police that a letter stating an application for unemployment compensation had been made using his name and was being reviewed. The victim had never submitted the application and was advised to contact the PA Fraud hotline and start a recovery process with the Federal Trade Commission. Authorities say the incident is likely part of a string of such frauds happening across the country.
A 69 year old Rixford woman was tricked into sending an undisclosed amount of gift cards last week to an unidentified crook posing as a representative from a computer service company. Authorities advise the public to be aware of scams requesting payment via gift cards.
An elderly Smethport man escaped injury in a one-vehicle crash Saturday afternoon on the West Eldred Road. State police at Lewis Run claim 71 year old David Peer was speeding when his 2022 Dodge Ram 1500 veered off the road and collided with a guard rail. The pick up had to be towed from the scene.
Minor injuries were reported for a passenger after a one-vehicle crash Sunday evening in Fox Township, Elk County. Troopers at Ridgway report a 17 year old St. Marys girl was going north when her 2005 Dodge Corolla went off Skyline Drive and became stuck in a ditch. The teen driver was unhurt and her passenger, Amber Kotora also of St.Marys declined treatment for minor injuries.
Recognizing the ongoing challenges facing the state’s emergency medical services (EMS) providers, Rep. Martin Causer (R-Cameron/McKean/Potter) this week voted to provide an additional $25 million in grant funding for the organizations.“Our EMS crews have been on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 for nearly two years, and it has taken a toll on them emotionally as well as financially,” Causer said. “Especially for our rural EMS companies that were already struggling significantly to make ends meet, these additional grant funds will help them keep their doors open and continue their mission of protecting public safety.”
Senate Bill 739, as amended by the House, would direct $25 million in federal disaster relief funds to be distributed under the Emergency Medical Services COVID-19 Recovery Grant Program. EMS companies that qualified for similar grants in the 2019-20 fiscal year would be eligible for these funds through the Office of the State Fire Commissioner. The funding would be divided evenly amongst all applicants. Qualified uses would include recruitment and retention; construction or renovation of an EMS company’s facilities; purchase or repair of equipment; debt reduction; training and certification; public education; or revenue loss.
The funding is a continuation of efforts last month in which the General Assembly voted to provide $225 million in funding to support the state’s health care workers and encourage new nurses to enter the field. A total of $210 million is being directed to hospitals and behavioral health providers to provide recruitment and retention payments to nurses and other employees, while an additional $15 million is being invested in nurse student loan forgiveness.
It is also the latest step in supporting life-saving emergency medical services organizations. In 2020, Causer successfully spearheaded efforts to help offset training costs for EMTs by increasing funding for the Emergency Medical Services Operating Fund. He also led the successful effort to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates for Advanced Life Support and Basic Life Support ambulance calls. Additionally, he was a vocal supporter of laws to require insurance companies to reimburse for treatment provided, even when no transport takes place; allow direct pay from insurance companies to EMS providers; and offer staffing waivers to ambulance companies in rural areas so they may continue to serve their communities
Senate Bill 739 heads back to the Senate for its consideration.
The state Health Department reports the number of deaths in Pennsylvania now totals 41,781. Deaths in the Black Forest Broadcasting Service area to date are mostly holding steady.
McKean 130 (+1)
Potter 88 (+1)
Tioga 187 (+1)
Allegany (NY) 145
Cattaraugus 208 (+1)