By: Don Shaw email: don.shaw@pennsylvaniachronicle.com (570) 543-2961

Auditor General Releases Audits for Volunteer Firefighters’ Relief Associations in 11 Counties

Auditor General  Releases Audits for Volunteer Firefighters’ Relief Associations in 11 Counties

Harrisburg, PA

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale today announced the release of audit reports for volunteer firefighters’ relief associations (VFRAs) in Allegheny, Bucks, Delaware, Franklin, Lackawanna, Lawrence, Montgomery, Schuylkill, Tioga, Westmoreland and York counties.

“My oversight of volunteer firefighters’ relief associations helps emergency-services volunteers protect our citizens and communities,” DePasquale said. “I want to make sure state aid is used efficiently and effectively to help purchase life-saving equipment, training and insurance for our first responders.”

VFRAs receive state aid from a 2 percent state tax on fire insurance premiums purchased by Pennsylvania residents from out-of-state casualty insurance companies. In 2018, 2,518 municipalities received $55.1 million for distribution to VFRAs to provide training, purchase equipment and insurance, and pay for death benefits for volunteer firefighters.

The Department of the Auditor General distributes the state aid and audits VFRAs. 

Allegheny County

Upper St. Clair VFRA – No findings  

Bucks County

Newport Fire Co. No. 1 VFRA – No findings

Upper Makefield VFRA – No findings  

Delaware County

Boothwyn Fire Co. No. 1 VFRA – No findings

Franklin County

New Franklin VFRA

Complied with applicable state laws, contracts, bylaws and administrative procedures as they relate to the receipt of state aid and the expenditure of relief association funds, except for two findings: non-compliance with prior audit recommendation for failure to maintain a complete and accurate equipment roster; and unauthorized expenditures involving $1,500 in death benefits.

Lackawanna County

Clark Summit Fire Co. No. 1 VFRA – No findings 

Lawrence County

Shenango Township VFRA – No findings   

Montgomery County

Rockledge Fire Co. No. 1 VFRA – No findings   

Schuylkill County

Schuylkill Township VFRA – No findings 

Tioga County

Westfield VFRA – No findings   

Westmoreland County

Fairfield Township VFRA – No findings

Harrison City VFRA – No findings

Smithton VFRA – No findings  

York County

Yoe VFRA 

Complied with applicable state laws, contracts, bylaws and administrative procedures as they relate to the receipt of state aid and the expenditure of relief association funds, except for one finding: VFRA bank accounts were inappropriately registered under the affiliated fire service organization’s name.

As a result of the audit, the accounts are being changed into the relief association’s name.

About The Author

Don Shaw

Don Shaw journalist covering local news for The Pennsylvania Chronicle (717) 461-2107 don.shaw@pennsylvaniachronicle.com