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Solobay EMS Training Bill Passes the Senate
On October 17, 2012
HARRISBURG, Oct. 16, 2012 – The Senate today passed a bill, sponsored by state Sen. Tim Solobay, that would allow emergency medical services personnel to use Volunteer Firefighter Relief Association funds to offset expenses incurred while attending training programs.
“There are many firefighters that do double duty on the medical side but the current law doesn’t allow the relief association money to be used for those costs,” Solobay said. “Changing the law makes sense if we want to keep the shrinking pool of volunteers well trained.”
Pennsylvania’s 1,957 VFRAs hold $361 million in assets that are used to purchase equipment, obtain insurance, pay death benefits or attend training. The organizations receive the funds through a 2 percent tax on fire insurance.
Solobay’s Bill, Senate Bill 709, would be the latest adjustment in the VFRA law, which dates back to the 19th century.
“Local volunteer organizations are working hard to keep up with changing demographics, technology and regulations,” Solobay said. “So it’s important that we update our laws to help them adjust.”