By Konstantine Fekos
The Crawford County Office of Emergency Services hopes to receive more than $40,000 worth of emergency equipment for local agencies after Crawford County Board of Commissioners approved a request to purchase items from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The Northwestern Pennsylvania Emergency Response Group, a regional public safety organization encompassing Crawford and surrounding counties, has $60,000 worth of 2010 grant funding to spend by the end of July, according to Allen Clark, Crawford County Emergency Management Agency director.
Any unused grant money is returned to the DHS.
The group identified local needs for law enforcement and search and rescue equipment in Crawford County, which cleared the EMA to send a purchase request to the county commissioners for approval, Clark said.
Clark publicly thanked commissioners for cooperating with the purchase request.
“It’s nice that they’re very supportive of public safety,” he said.
DHS and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency allow purchases on the county level to expedite the process, rather than purchase equipment through a state agency.
If PEMA accepts the commissioner-approved purchase request, the county will be reimbursed within 45 days, Clark said.
Organizations expected to receive equipment include Saegertown and Meadville fire departments, the SWAT and Rescue teams, the HazMat team and Emergency Services.
An itemized expense form supplied by the EMA lists a gas meter, air monitors, megaphones, ear microphones, a portable light tower, a vehicle stabilizer and rescue equipment.
The Northwestern Pennsylvania Emergency Response Group covers Crawford, Erie, Forest, Venango and Warren counties.
Konstantine Fekos can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.