Auditor General Jack Wagner Announces Availability Of New VFRA Management Guidelines Manual

Also announces four VFRA workshops scheduled this fall

HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Auditor General Jack Wagner said today that the 2012 edition of the Department's Management Guidelines for Volunteer Firefighters' Relief Associations manual is available on the Department of the Auditor General website at www.auditorgen.state.pa.us.

Wagner said the updated guide includes recent policy changes related to authorized expenditures for VFRAs, which will be discussed in detail at four free workshops offered to officers and members of volunteer fire departments across the commonwealth, providing operational guidelines for Volunteer Firefighters' Relief Associations.

The two-hour evening workshops are taught by staff members from the Department of the Auditor General and provide first-hand training in administrative procedures and relief association management.  Volunteer firefighters are primarily trained in lifesaving measures, not in accounting and bookkeeping.

"We truly appreciate our firefighters who generously volunteer their time to help keep our communities safe," said Wagner.  "I am confident this year's workshops will give our VFRA officers and members the training, resources and information they need to run a successful organization.  We encourage all VFRAs to participate."

All VFRA workshop sessions begin at 7 p.m.

  • Oct. 3, Reliance Fire Company No. 1, 1341 W. Market Street, West York, York County
  • Oct. 15, Avalon Volunteer Fire Dept., 629 Brighton Road, Avalon, Allegheny County
  • Oct. 16, Friedens Fire Co., 2243 Stoystown Road, Friedens, Somerset County
  • Oct. 18, Breslau Hose Company No. 5, 299 1st Street, Lynnwood, Luzerne County

Auditors at the workshop will teach proper record-keeping and discuss common audit findings.  They will also review and distribute copies of the manual.

In 2011, the Department of the Auditor General disbursed more than $112.7 million to 1,955 local VFRAs in the commonwealth.  The money, funded by a 2-percent state levy on foreign fire insurance premiums, is primarily used to offer financial protection to volunteer emergency service personnel against any disability which might occur during participation in the fire service, as well as to purchase fire equipment, and to pay training expenses.

Wagner's strong support for fire departments and fire-related safety issues dates back to his own experience as an emergency medical technician at Citizens Ambulance Service in Indiana, Pennsylvania, working his way through college at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

"I understand first-hand and have a deep respect for what volunteers do for our citizens and communities across the commonwealth," Wagner said.

For additional information on future training sessions, call the Bureau of Firefighters' Relief Audits at (717)-787-1308; or e-mail to: fire@auditorgen.state.pa.us.

Auditor General Jack Wagner is responsible for ensuring that all state money is spent legally and properly.  He is the commonwealth's elected independent fiscal watchdog, conducting financial audits, performance audits and special investigations.  The Department of the Auditor General conducts thousands of audits each year.  To learn more about the Department of the Auditor General, taxpayers are encouraged to visit the department's website at www.auditorgen.state.pa.us.

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General



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