Pa. FD receives $1.9M grant to renovate antiquated substation

The Harmonville Fire location's redo will accommodate more firefighters, a bigger apparatus, a meeting space and a diesel exhaust system


The Reporter

PLYMOUTH, Pa. — In the lifesaving world of firefighting, response time is critical. That's why the notification that Harmonville Fire Company has been awarded a $1.97 million grant by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) has come at the perfect time.

The grant will be used to rebuild its antiquated substation located at 904 Germantown Pike in Plymouth Meeting on its current footprint. Working alongside KCBA Architects, it is Harmonville Fire Company's goal to make structural changes that will bring more firefighters and apparatus to the substation, thus supporting faster response times and higher firefighter staffing levels both during the day and night.

This will be accomplished by creating a space for four single bunk rooms, along with showers and lockers. To support daytime 911 calls, workspaces will be built to incentivize "work from home" volunteer firefighters to work remotely from fire company office space, so they can readily depart on a fire truck if called.

The renovation will allow for the housing of bigger apparatus, gathering space for volunteer meetings, and the usage of a diesel exhaust system. The substation's last renovation occurred in the late 1970's with all labor provided lovingly by fire company volunteers.

RACP is a Commonwealth grant program administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects. RACP projects are authorized in the Redevelopment Assistance section of a Capital Budget Itemization Act, have a regional or multi-jurisdictional impact, and generate substantial increases or maintain current levels of employment, tax revenues, or other measures of economic activity.

"The timing for the RACP grant could not be better," said Harmonville Chief John Hoffman. "The population in this community is growing, and we need to be accessible to all of our residents so we can respond quickly when needed. The alternations planned for the substation will support this goal."

"We are so grateful for to State Representatives Rep. Matt Bradford and Mary Jo Daley and Senators Maria Collett and Amanda Cappelletti for advocating for this public safety initiative," said Chief Hoffman. "This could not have happened without their support," he adds.

Under RACP guidelines, Harmonville Fire Company must secure a 50% match to the $2 million granted. The company hopes that donations from corporations and individuals might help reduce the impact that self-funding this match will have on the fire company. To donate, go to http://hfc44.com/donate/

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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