A few months into the COVID-19 pandemic, Bridgeville fire Chief Ray Costain wondered whether his department would have to close its doors.
With the pandemic shutting down all in-person events, including necessary fundraisers, the Bridgeville Volunteer Fire Department’s money stream was drying up. By 2021, Chief Costain said, the department had lost $82,000.
“It was a concern, not knowing what was going to come next [or] how long this was going to affect us,” Chief Costain said.
With many volunteer fire departments across Allegheny County taking a serious financial hit from the pandemic, Allegheny County Council recently approved a spending plan that will deliver $5 million to volunteer fire departments and emergency medical services. Each of the county’s 200-some eligible agencies will receive $25,000, regardless of size or financial need.