HARRISBURG – State Rep. Jim Struzzi (R-Indiana) today announced that the General Assembly has passed House Bill 1673
, which would aid volunteer first responder organizations by addressing several recommendations made in the Senate Resolution 6
The bill contains the following provisions:
• Would provide for the creation of the Length of Service Award Program, which would provide tax-deferred income benefits to active volunteer firefighters.
• Would expand the use of relief funds to include assistance and materials for the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters.
• Would allow volunteer fire departments to save grant money for five years, rather than the existing limit of 12 months.
• Would give school districts the option of offering a property tax credit for volunteer first responders.
• Would authorize counties to offer active volunteers a property tax credit of up to 100% for active volunteer fire or emergency medical services (EMS) members.
• Would increase by 10% the maximum loan limits available to volunteer fire and EMS companies through the Volunteer Loan Assistance Program (VLAP).
• Would rename VLAP as the Emergency Responder Loan Assistance Program (ESLAP), allowing career and combination agencies access to low-interest loans for equipment and training.
“The value of our first responders is priceless, as they are the dedicated souls we call in our most desperate and dangerous times. They deserve to be rewarded for their hard work and the sacrifices they make daily to help us when we need it most,” said Struzzi. “As a co-sponsor of this legislation, I am incredibly glad to see it approved by our General Assembly. It is my hope these programs will incentivize and encourage more brave individuals to volunteer for these first responder services.”
The SR6 Report, published in 2018, identifies critical problem areas and makes recommendations to boost the recruitment and retention of volunteer first responders in Pennsylvania. A copy of the final report can be viewed on Struzzi’s website under the Resources tab.
Having been signed in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, the bill now goes to the governor for his signature.
Representative Jim Struzzi
62nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Kevin DiGuiseppe
717.260.6419 (office), 610.937.4679 (cell)