HARRISBURG, Pa., May 8, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Auditor General Jack Wagner today announced that free management training seminars for Volunteer Firefighters' Relief Associations will be offered May 21-24 at four different Pennsylvania locations. VFRAs are the financial arm of volunteer fire departments. The Auditor General audits 1,955 VFRAs.
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.:
- May 21 at Montgomery County Fire Training Center, 1175 Conshohocken Road, Conshohocken, PA 19428 (Montgomery County)
- May 22, at Picture Rock Volunteer Fire Department, 180 North Main Street, Picture Rock, PA 17762 (Lycoming County)
- May 23, at Carmichaels Volunteer Fire Department, 420 George Street, Carmichaels, PA 15320 (Washington County)
- May 24, at Sandycreek Township Volunteer Fire Department, 624 Congress Hill Road, Franklin, PA 16323 (Venango County)
Auditors at the workshop will teach proper record-keeping and discuss common audit findings. They will also review and distribute copies of the 2012 edition of the Department's Management Guidelines for Volunteer Firefighters' Relief Associations manual. Guidelines are also available on the Department of the Auditor General website: www.auditorgen.state.pa.us.
The Volunteer Firefighters' Relief Associations program was established in 1984 through a 2-percent state levy on foreign fire insurance premiums. The Department of the Auditor General is responsible for auditing VFRAs to ensure funds are properly spent.
In 2011, the Department of the Auditor General disbursed more than $112.7 million to 1,955 local VFRAs in the commonwealth. Funds are 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 days as a college student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, when he worked as an emergency medical technician with Citizens Ambulance Service.
"I understand first-hand and have a deep respect for what volunteers can do for our citizens and communities across the commonwealth," Wagner said.
For additional information on future training sessions, call the Bureau of Firefighters' Relief Association Audits at (717) 787-2543, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Workshops will be offered in Allegheny, Somerset, York and Luzerne counties for the fall 2012 session.
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