Oil City Fire Department One of Just 40 Across PA to Achieve 100 Percent Professional Rating

| January 27, 2019

OIL CITY, Pa. (EYT) – The Oil City Fire Department on Thursday found out it is receiving over $21,000.00 in grant money, and the fact the department just reached a 100 percent rating mark through the Commonwealth program has a lot to do with the additional grant funding.

The department will receive $14,481.50 for SCBA bottles and $7,155.22 for EMS equipment, according to fire chief Mark Hicks, who found out about the grants just a half hour before Thursday’s Oil City Council meeting.

Part of the reason the department received the grants is that it is now one of just 40 departments across the Commonwealth to achieve a 100 percent rating mark through a volunteer recognition program run by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Office of the State Fire Commissioner State Fire Academy.

The program allows for the certification of any Commonwealth resident, 18 years of age or older, and Oil City now has reached the 100 percent mark with all of its firefighters. The City had been at 75 percent, according to Hicks.

“They give us both written and physical tests,” Hicks said. “They are based on the national standards. Every one of our firefighters has reached at least a Firefighter One standards. It is a basic professional qualification that we carry.”

Hick said being one of just 40 departments in Pennsylvania to reach 100 percent is a big deal.

“There are 2,048 fire departments in Pennsylvania, we are one of just 40 and one of just two in Venango County,” Hicks said. “Franklin is the other one in the county. I’m pretty proud of that fact.”

Hicks said the department has been pushing to reach 100 percent since 2014.

“I’m proud to say we reached that goal,” Hicks said. “It tells our citizens we know what we are doing.”

By having a 100 percent rating, Oil City is now eligible for higher grant amounts up to the maximum available, which in part led to the grant awards he found out about Thursday.

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