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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

US Rep. Glenn Thompson Sending Money Home

Thompson Announces $190,000 in Federal Funds for Ridgway Fire Department

Washington, DC – Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-Howard, announced today that the Ridgway Fire Department is recipient of $190,000 in federal dollars thought the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program to purchase a new tanker truck. AFG is administered through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, otherwise known as FEMA.

“As a volunteer firefighter, I know firsthand the budgetary challenges facing companies throughout rural Pennsylvania,” said Thompson, who is a past president of the Howard Volunteer Fire Company.

“This grant will go a long way in providing state of the art equipment needed to protect Ridgway and I am glad the Department of Homeland Security saw the merits in this request. First responders put their lives on the line without hesitation, so it is only fitting that these brave men and women have the necessary equipment to get the job done in a safe manner.”

The Ridgway Fire Department will utilize these funds to purchase a new tanker truck which will replace a tanker that was retired in November of 2008, due to safety concerns. Along with the $190,000 provided by the Federal government, the Ridgway Fire Department will have to raise $10,000 in order to procure the new truck.

“There is no question that these funds will be well utilized,” said Dave Matson, Deputy Chief of the Ridgway Fire Department. “In fact, the tanker we purchase will be the first wholly owned tanker in the history of the department. This is definitely exciting for the Department and we thank the Congressman for his support.”

The AFG program is designed to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and emergency medical services organizations across America. AFG helps firefighters and other first responders to obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.

“The Assistance to Firefighter Grant Program is truly an effective program. I encourage every department across the Fifth District to apply for these grants as needed, and to contact my district office for assistance,” concluded Thompson.

For more information on the AFG program and to learn when the 2009 application period will begin, visit


Anonymous said...

Congrats to Ridgway for the new Tanker that will be in service...

Your brothers from

Anonymous said...

How about the other departments?

Anonymous said...

Congrats Ridgeway FD. to the blogger who inquired about the other depts, having written hundreds of grants for volunteer emergency services, this is time consuming and not every grant will be approved. I would suggest contacting some one in you county's planning office, most people employed there are also certified in grant writing. may house of grant writing classes are also helpful. contact your local EMS office to see if any Grant writing courses are available. if so, it is truly a good investment for each volunteer dept to have several people with this experience. and Good Luck, its a frustrating task.

Anonymous said...

But "Grant Money" is still taxpayer money!

Anonymous said...

Yes...taxpayer money that helps the fire department serve the taxpayers of Ridgway. At least it didn't get spent on a handwarming machine for the "Dark Skies" park or something useless like that. I believe it is tax money well spent.

Anonymous said...

Mr Negative,

Welcome back as i haven't seen any posts in awhile, but there you go again....

Can we infer from your post that all parks should be shut down. Yellowstone, Grand Caynon, Gettysburg, DC etc Any tourism destination funded by tax dollars is bad and should be shut down?

That is certainly an opinion to which you are entitled, but I don't think most people agree with it. Look to the folks at any level of government that cuts the budget and as a result closes parks, campgrounds, swimming areas, etc and they will tell you that people get hot and they get hot quickly. Why..because people like to recreate and there is nothing sinister about that.

Now I agree that the grant money being discussed in this post (i.e fire equipment) is being well spent. And I also agree that if it came down to a new fire truck or a park bench then I'll go with the fire truck. But developing the Dark Skys/Cherry Springs is not a bad thing. It simply brings people to the area. More than were coming without it. Moreover, while we up here may think it is a waste of money the folks down in Philly and Pittsburgh have just as much say as we do. Perhaps they want their tax dollars being spent up here developing the parks as it gives them a place to vacation. Just because these areas are in our backyard doesn't mean they belong to us any more than they belong to anyone else that lives in the state.


Anonymous said...

Mark...point taken. I just believe that the massive amount of money that has already been spent on the Dark Skies area is enough without contributing more to that when the money is desperately needed in other places. I realize that your livlihood depends on tourism and I sincerely hope that it flourishes this year.

Solomon's words for the wise said...

It should as the money taken from Potter and adjoining counties for tourism is being spent to give a former PA Representative who was voted out a job for $95,000 a year by Mr. Ed Rendell--Way To Go Gov.

Anonymous said...

Whoa! Ed had to return a favor to Dan. Just wonder what Dan did for Ed????? They all take care of each other!!!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I certainly agree that money is needed desperately in other places.

As to this new position, I need to do some more research as it certainly doesn't pass the smell test.

Certainly makes it hard to defend spending on tourism when an apparent case of cronyism comes along like this. Let's hope there is more to this (i.e value to be created) than just rewarding a buddy with a job.


Anonymous said...

That brings up another point. I have had more than one visitor to our county talk about the state of the roads in our area....the government is looking at investing dollars in the area , but neglecting the path to get to those sites. I hit a pothole the other day on a state road that made my teath chatter.

Anonymous said...

Mr Negative -

Excellent point. A few other folks smarter than I have pointed this out as well. You can have the best resort or whatever but it can only be as good as the surrounding infrastructure.

I don't have an intelligent counter reply to this.