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October 1, 2012

North Beaver firefighters group gets audit approval

NEW CASTLE — The North Beaver Volunteer Firefighters’ Relief Association is in compliance with tested laws and regulations, the state reported.

Auditor General Jack Wagner said the association was audited for the period of Jan. 1, 2009, to Dec. 31, 2010, and was determined to be in compliance with all applicable state laws, contracts, bylaws and administrative procedures.

Volunteer firefighters’ relief associations are non-profit organizations established to afford financial protection to volunteer firefighters who suffer misfortune as a result of their participation in the fire service. The associations receive state aid from a 2 percent state tax on fire insurance purchased by Pennsylvania residents from insurance companies incorporated outside the commonwealth.

These funds are used to pay for insurance to protect volunteer firefighters, to purchase fire equipment and to cover volunteer training expenses. The associations are distinct separate legal entities from fire companies.

The department of the auditor general is responsible for auditing VFRA funds to make sure they are spent according to state law. The department also conducts workshops to help local firefighters comply with regulations.

The department of the auditor general — on behalf of the commonwealth — distributed more than $112.7 million to 1,955 local volunteer firefighters’ relief associations in 2011.

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