Barrar and Commission Delve into Problems Facing Emergency Services
Rep. Steve Barrar (R-Chester/Delaware) led other members of a commission charged with reviewing and reporting on issues impacting the Commonwealth’s first responders in a discussion focused on staffing and financial challenges on Tuesday. Pictured are Rep. Frank Farry (R-Langhorne); Barrar; Sean Harris, research analyst for the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee; and Nathan Silcox, executive director for Sen. Randy Vulakovich (R-38).
COATESVILLE – Rep. Steve Barrar (R-Chester/Delaware) held a meeting of a bipartisan, bicameral commission at the Chester County Department of Emergency Services training facility in Coatesville to continue the conversation about how to address problems facing emergency services in the Commonwealth.

The commission has been charged with creating a comprehensive review of challenges faced by emergency services, as well as a report of recommendations to be completed by June 30. Both paid and volunteer services will be addressed.
“Our volunteer and career emergency service organizations are in dire need of financial support for enhanced training and equipment upgrades, as well as shortages in personnel. It is imperative that we outline these deficiencies, as well as work together for sound public policy solutions and the betterment of public safety,” Barrar said.
During the meeting, commission members broke into six subcommittees: emergency medical services; government support; innovation; recruiting and retention; regulations and codes; and training and operations. Each subcommittee provided preliminary reports on the discussions that took place in the last few months. Additional meetings will be held before the final review is issued, with the next meeting planned for May.
“As co-chair of the commission, I would like to thank Bobby Kagel, director of Chester County Department of Emergency Services, for graciously allowing the commission to gather, and providing tours of the facility following the meeting,” Barrar added.
The Chester County Department of Emergency Services hosted the commission at its new training facility, which offers burn buildings, indoor ranges and other key features.

“After the meeting, I toured the center that is used to train 911 call takers and dispatchers, which was partially funded by legislation I drafted that created a 911 fund to preserve Commonwealth counties’ ability to provide critical emergency services,” Barrar said. “The center serves as a back-up center for Delaware County; it is not only a real jewel for the county, but for all of the southeast.”

Representative Stephen E. Barrar
160th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Alison Evans
717.260.6206 /

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