Senator Pat Stefano (R-32) has introduced two bills that would provide financial assistance to volunteer firefighters and assist volunteer fire companies in fundraising activities that are vital to their operations.
“Our volunteer fire companies are the very first line of defense and assistance for our communities, but the cost of equipment and training has created a financial hardship for many individuals and companies,” Stefano said. “As a strong supporter of these men and women who provide a tremendous service, I believe we need to do our part to provide the resources they need to do their jobs safely and effectively.”
Stefano’s first bill would exempt firefighters from the sales and use tax when purchasing protective equipment and accessory communications equipment using their own personal funds.
He said the cost of a firefighter’s protective equipment alone can cost them up to $2,500 out of pocket.
“Firefighters who put their lives on the line as volunteers and pay for their own supplies, deserve this exemption,” Stefano said. “It is no wonder that retention rates are going down because volunteers have to spend so much money out of pocket. This bill will help to ease the financial burden they face.”
Stefano’s second bill would amend the state Liquor Code to make it easier for firefighters and other volunteer rescue organizations to use Special Occasion Liquor Permits for their fundraising efforts.
“In recent years, Pennsylvania has seen a steady decrease in the number of volunteer firefighters because of the high costs and the time involved in fund-raising activities,” Stefano said. “This bill will help them more easily make ends meet, so they can focus on protecting our communities and spend less time on fundraising.”
CONTACT: Ben Wren (717) 787-7175