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Harrisburg, PA

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale today announced the release of audit reports for volunteer firefighters’ relief associations in Blair, Bradford, Chester, Fayette, Indiana, Juniata, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Washington and Westmoreland counties.

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

The Department of the Auditor General examines volunteer firefighters’ relief associations, which 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 in state aid funding for distribution to local volunteer firefighters’ relief associations to provide training, purchase equipment and insurance, and pay for death benefits for volunteer firefighters.

The full audit reports for VFRAs with findings are available online using the links provided below; others are available online at: www.PaAuditor.gov/audit-reports.

Blair County

Excelsior VFRA – No findings

Bradford County

Windham Township VFRA – No findings

Chester County

West Grove VFRA – No findings

Fayette County

Dunbar 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: undocumented expenditure.

The VFRA could not document an expenditure for $2,400. As a result of the audit, the affiliated fire company reimbursed the VFRA $2,400.

Republic VFRA – No findings

Indiana County

Aultman VFRA – No findings

Juniata County

Mifflin 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 five findings: failure to fully enforce the terms of the agreements, undocumented expenditures, failure to secure ownership interest in jointly purchased equipment, inadequate financial record-keeping system and inadequate investment records.

The VFRA did not receive its fair share of the sale of two jointly-owned pieces of equipment; did not secure adequate ownership interests in the joint purchase of bunker gear and air packs; did not maintain adequate investment records; and could not provide documentation for $889 in expenses to an equipment vendor.

Lackawanna County

Greenwood Hose Co. No. 1 VFRA – No findings

Jermyn Borough VFRA – No findings

Mayfield VFRA – No findings

Lancaster County

East Petersburg Fire Co. No. 1 VFRA – No findings

Luzerne County

Forty Fort VFRA – No findings

Monroe County

Tobyhanna Township VFRA – No findings

Pike County

Shohola Township 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: inappropriate ownership of rescue vehicle.

The title of a jointly-owned rescue vehicle was incorrectly titled in the name of the affiliated fire company. The VFRA was also not titled in two other jointly-owned rescue vehicles.

Washington County

Jefferson Township VFRA – No findings

Westmoreland County

North Belle Vernon VFRA – No findings