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Volunteer Fire Department Consolidation in Pennsylvania

BY VICTORIA MIKULAN Approximately 73 percent of the fire departments in the United States are volunteer-based, and their members total to about 800,000. In Pennsylvania, the fire departments are 96.1 percent volunteer, and the approximately 1,500 Pennsylvania volunteer fire departments produce a tax savings of about $6.0 billion a year for state and local governments, according to a report by the Pennsylvania Legislative Budget and Finance Committee.1 However, many volunteer departments are struggling because of decreases in resources and funding. These problems have seriously strained the volunteer fire service in areas throughout the country but especially in Pennsylvania. The prolifera...

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