Oct. 21, 2020

HARRISBURG – State Rep. Carl Walker Metzgar (R-Somerset/Bedford) 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 (SR6) Report.

The bill contains the following provisions:

• Allows volunteer fire departments to save grant money for five years, rather than the existing limit of 12 months.
• Gives school districts the option of offering a property tax credit for volunteer first responders.
• Provides for the creation of the Length of Service Award Program, which would provide tax-deferred income benefits to active volunteer firefighters.
• Expands the use of relief funds to include assistance and materials for the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters.
• Authorizes counties to offer active volunteers a property tax credit of up to 100% for active volunteer fire or emergency medical services (EMS) members.
• Increases by 10% the maximum loan limits available to volunteer fire and EMS companies through the Volunteer Loan Assistance Program (VLAP).

“In our most dangerous and desperate times, we rely on our first responder organizations to be there for us. Now, when they need assistance in recruiting and retaining members, the least we can do is be there for them,” said Metzgar. “I am incredibly glad to see this legislation passed by the General Assembly, and I am excited to see the positive impact these programs have for our first responders.”

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.

Having been signed in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, the bill now goes to the governor for his signature.

Representative Carl Walker Metzgar
69th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Kevin DiGuiseppe
717.260.6419 (office), 610.937.4679 (cell)