|Posted:||January 26, 2022 04:04 PM|
|From:||Representative Nancy Guenst|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Public Safety Authorities|
|Senate Resolution 6 of 2018 recommended that the Legislature simplify the process to regionalize fire and EMS services by allowing for the formation of regional or county-wide service districts, or what are better known as authorities here in our Commonwealth. The report called for making statutory changes today to help prevent service lapses in the future. Many fire and EMS companies and communities know that regionalization provides an opportunity to provide better services in perpetuity, but struggle to find successful ways to get around the legal obstacles that our current statutory framework inadvertently creates.
To address this issue, I will be introducing legislation that would amend the Municipal Authorities Act (Chapter 56 of Title 53) to give counties the option to create Public Safety Authorities, which may be used to provide services for firefighting and/or EMS. Individual municipalities would be able to join or not join if they so choose, and rather than replacing our incredible volunteer and career fire and EMS companies, authorities would exist to support them and their work.
In Pennsylvania, one size solutions do not fit all. An authority may not be necessary for every county or community, but this legislation would give companies, municipalities, and regions the choice to use this tool. By giving counties and the municipalities the framework and option to organize regionally, this legislation would allow for innovative service models—from centralized administrative support to higher levels of coordination—that can best fit the needs of our diverse communities.
Please join me in support of this effort to address this urgent need.
Introduced as HB2537