Pennsylvania auditor says changes needed to help volunteer firefighters

Western PA News

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania’s fiscal watchdog is calling on state legislators to change the law for Volunteer Firefighter Relief Associations.

​VFRAs exist to help buy needed equipment, pay for training and insurance, and pay for death benefits. Auditor General Eugene DePasquale says the law that determines how those funds are used is too rigid.

​​”Some relief associations are struggling to follow the letter of the law as it is written,” DePasquale said. “They try to do the right thing but end up doing it in the wrong way.”

DePasquale says the law is out of date. He says there are nearly 60 VFRAs in sitting on reserves of a million dollars or more.

​​”We would like to get the Legislature on board to help us help the communities and really give this money back to where it belongs, and that’s protecting our firefighters and our taxpayers,” Harrisburg Fire Chief Brian Enterline said.

​​In 2018, $55.1 million was distributed to VFRAs across the state.​

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