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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: July 23, 2018 02:00 PM
From: Senator Randy Vulakovich
To: All Senate members
Subject: Volunteer Fire Department Reimbursements
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation to authorize volunteer fire companies to recoup their costs associated with an emergency response. At the present time, there is no state law that authorizes or prohibits volunteer fire companies from billing for their services.

As you know, our volunteer fire and EMS organizations continue to struggle financially to provide our local municipalities with fire and emergency services protection. This legislation, would establish that a person who is involved in an emergency, that necessitates a response from a volunteer emergency services organization, shall be liable for the actual and reasonable response costs, when services are rendered. This legislation would allow our volunteer services organizations a way to recoup expenses by billing for real and reasonable reimbursement costs, not for manpower or labor costs. The cost recoupment could include items such as chemical agents used, the refill of air tanks, flares used at emergency scenes, fuel to operate apparatus, etc. Furthermore, a fire company would be prohibited from billing an individual who has paid a tax to the municipality wherein the fire company is located to fund the fire company. It would also prohibit insurance companies from requiring a contract with the company for the purposes of billing. The legislation would put in place an appeals process, and the losing party would be responsible for all costs of the appeal. In short, this proposal would be a cost recovery measure, not a revenue enhancement process.

Please consider sponsoring this legislation to assist our volunteer fire companies.

Introduced as SB1235