Volunteer Fire Companies across the state will be seeing more funding this year thanks to Pennsylvania’s Auditor General. Eugene DePasquale announced this year’s aid to Volunteer Firefighters’ Relief Associations, or VFRAs, Tuesday morning. Almost 60 million dollars in state aid for VFRAs is being divvied up among Pennsylvania’s 67 counties this year. That’s about 5 million dollars more than last year.

“This funding helps our dedicated emergency responders to save lives and protect property in communities all across Pennsylvania,” DePasquale says.

More than 1,900 Volunteer Firefighters Relief Associations across the state are splitting the total of $59.99 million. Erie County is receiving $962,585. Crawford County will see $335,377. Meanwhile, Warren County is getting $150,160. DePasquale says the money will be used for updated equipment, among other things.

“Relief associations count on this money to purchase life-saving equipment, fund critical training, and provide insurance for thousands of volunteer firefighters,” explains DePasquale.

The funding for this VFRA state aid comes from a 2% state tax on fire insurance premiums, which Pennsylvania residents buy from out-of-state companies. The Auditor General continued to voice his concern over the state’s restrictions on how this money can be spent. DePasquale echoed his calls to state lawmakers to pass legislation to ease these restrictions. By giving VFRAs more ways to use the funding, firefighting services could be enhanced

“90 percent of the state’s fire protection comes from volunteers, our friends, neighbors, and coworkers. They deserve our thanks and continued support,” says DePasquale.

Auditor General DePasquale says this is the first time since he took office in 2013 that VFRA funding increased from the previous year.

Full municipality-by-municipality VFRA allocations for Northwestern PA can be found here: https://www.erienewsnow.com/story/41156165/nearly-dollar25m-in-state-aid-awarded-for-volunteer-firefighters-in-northwestern-pa