– Rep. Karen Boback (R-Lackwanna/Luzerne/Wyoming), majority chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, held informational meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday with agency stakeholders.
“Over the last two days, fellow lawmakers and I heard from our agency stakeholders that affect our veteran and emergency preparedness community,” said Boback. “It was a rather unique opportunity for all of us to her from experts across the veterans affairs and emergency preparedness field. These meetings, while virtual, provide us with the necessary information and keep both new and returning members to this committee up to date with the most current legislative priorities of the organizations and communities we represent and serve.
“I was concerned with the vaccine programs logistics and rollout, which is why I pressed Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) Director Randy Patfield with questions that are important to all of us. In their continued planning and distribution of the vaccination, we need to make sure that counties that have worked so diligently in containing the spread and keeping Pennsylvanians safe are treated fairly. Smaller counties and those that have handled this pandemic properly should be treated equitably in the supplying of the vaccines. While PEMA and the Department of Health coordinate their efforts to make sure Pennsylvanians are safely vaccinated, this committee stands ready to assist them.”
Informational hearings of the committee provided members the opportunity to hear the legislative priorities of stakeholders for the current legislative session. Those present were MG. Mark J. Schindler, acting adjutant general of the PA Department of Military and Veterans Affairs; Kathleen Fabrizi, executive director of the PA National Guard Associations; Chad Rettew, chairman of the board for the PA National Guard Associations; Sam Petrovich, chairman of the PA State Veterans Commission; Robert Gray, PA War Veterans Council Legislative Committee chairman of the Military Officers Association of America; Col. Kevin Berry, PA Wing Commander for the PA Civil Air Patrol; Chris Arnold, Northeast Regional Liaison for the Defense – State Liaison Office with the Department of Defense Military Community and Family Policy; Rear Adm. Nancy J. Lescavage, U.S. Navy (Ret.), executive director of the PA Military Community Enhancement Commission; Randy Padfield, director of the PA Emergency Management Agency; Bruce Trego, commissioner of the Office of the State Fire Commissioner; Dylan Ferguson, director of the PA Department of Health, Bureau of EMS; Jerry Ozog, executive director of the PA Fire and Emergency Services Institute; Patricia Waldinger, regional chief executive officer for the Greater Pennsylvania Region of the American Red Cross; Guy Triano, regional chief executive officer for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Region of the American Red Cross; J.T. Pennington, president of the PA Professional Firefighters Association; Tim Leech, vice president of the Pittsburgh Fire Fighters; and Don DeReamus, legislative committee chair of the Ambulance Association of PA.
Tuesday’s meeting can be viewed here
Wednesday’s meeting can be viewed here
From left to right, Rick O’Leary, executive director for the majority chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee; Rep. Karen Boback (R-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming), majority chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee; and Rep. Chris Sainato (D-Lawrence) minority chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee.