HARRISBURG, PA — Auditor General Timothy L. DeFoor announced his department recently released more than $3.5 million in state aid to help dedicated volunteer firefighters in Chester County. The funding was part of a total $54 million package to save lives and protect property across Pennsylvania.
“This crucial funding will help more than 1,800 volunteer firefighter relief associations to provide equipment, training and insurance for Pennsylvania’s volunteer first responders,” DeFoor said. “At a time when many volunteers are spending more time raising money than fighting fires, these state funds are more important than ever.”
A total of 2,517 municipalities received $54,092,259 for distribution to volunteer firefighter relief associations (VFRAs), which are legally separate from the fire departments that they support.
The funding comes from a 2 percent state tax on fire insurance premiums purchased by Pennsylvania residents from out-of-state insurance companies. The amount of tax revenue available for distribution varies from year to year. Regional funding totals for 2021 are as follows:
- Central: $4,042,732.
- Susquehanna Valley: $13,105,285.
- Greater Pittsburgh: $10,317,509.
- Northwest: $2,230,763.
- Northeast: $5,584,250.
- Lehigh Valley: $2,683,444.
- Southeast: $16,128,273.
In addition to distributing the funding to VFRAs, the Department of the Auditor General audits those organizations to ensure aid dollars are spent as required by state law. The latest VFRA audits may be found online in the Audit Report Center.
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