Regional Fire and Emergency ServicesThe Governor’s Center for Local Government Services (GCLGS) provides technical and financial assistance to support Emergency Service Partnerships, including mergers and consolidations, within the fire and emergency services community.
Emergency Services in PA
In 2004, the Senate issued a report known as Senate Resolution 60. This report provides an overview of emergency services in PA, as well as twenty-three (23) recommendations for action to be taken by the General Assembly to manage the delivery of fire and emergency services in PA. To date, several of these key recommendations have been implemented to assist emergency service providers and the communities they serve. Additionally, the report offers other helpful tools such as a Fire/EMS Service Delivery Chart to assist communities in identifying their emergency service providers, as well as a Standard of Service Matrix to determine the acceptable level of emergency services in Pennsylvania communities.
Regionalizing PA’s Volunteer Fire Companies
In 2005, the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee released a report entitled “The Feasibility of Regionalizing Pennsylvania’s Volunteer Fire Companies” (also known as the HR 148 Report). This detailed and informative document provides an overview of volunteer fire services in PA, discusses the problems and challenges facing these volunteer fire companies and analyzes regionalization as a method of addressing the problems and challenges. Examples and case studies are provided, as well as suggestions for building partnerships designed to increase recruitment, retention and other operational efficiencies.
Management and Leadership Training
The Governor’s Center for Local Government Services provides education and training opportunities, focusing on topics such as Finance and Administration, through the PA Training Hub (PATH) - For Municipal Learning. The courses offered through the partnership are designed for municipal officials and other community leaders to keep current on new laws and requirements and to enhance their ability to govern and operate more effectively.
Volunteer Firefighters’ Relief Association
Use the VFRA Online Database to search for advice on whether relief monies may be used to purchase certain goods and services. The list is prepared with the premise that the items listed are being used by an all-volunteer entity. Please contact the Governor’s Center for Local Government Services at 888.223.6837 in cases where the fire or emergency service staff is a combination of paid and volunteer staff for further guidance.
In those instances where DCED's position differs from the Auditor General Department's position, the Auditor General Department's position is final. In this scenario, a verbal observation is issued for the first audit in which the unauthorized expenditure is identified. If not corrected, a written finding will be issued in subsequent audit reports, and the Auditor General may decide to withhold funds.
Fire Insurance Escrow Ordinances
The municipalities who have filed a fire escrow ordinance are listed in the Fire Insurance Escrow Ordinances database. To be included in this database, municipalities must submit a copy through email of their approved fire escrow ordinance to the Governor’s Center for Local Government Services.
Be sure to specify the following information with your submittal in order to avoid delays: municipality, county, contact person’s name, contact person’s position title, address, city, state, zip code, phone number and effective date of the ordinance.
Act 172-2016 Volunteer Firefighter Tax Credit
Act 172 of 2016 provides municipalities with the option to offer a real estate or earned income tax credit to active members of volunteer fire companies and nonprofit emergency medical service agencies through a volunteer service credit program. Active volunteers who meet the service credit criteria established by the municipality in consultation with the fire chief or supervisor of the EMS agency would be eligible for the tax credit.
Volunteer Firefighter Tax Credit Guidance
Our Partners in Public Safety
For more information on regional fire and emergency services, contact the Center for Local Government Services at 888.223.6837.
For inquiries regarding the Volunteer Firefighters’ Relief Association database and/or the Fire Insurance Escrow database, contact Sean Sanderson at 717.720.7384.