THE PENNSYLVANIA FIREMEN’S ASSOCIATION.
A vigorous campaign of activity to give the Firemen’s Association of the State of Pennsylvania a greater position among the state’s influential organization has been outlined by Judge Eugene C. Bonniwell, president of the Association. The association now comprises some six thousand individual members, and nearly one thousand fire companies throughout the entire state, representing a membership from sixty of the sixty-seven counties, and embracing the three paid fire departments of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Scranton. It is believed that a very considerable number of the fire companies all over the state which do not now belong to the association will apply for membership when the many features of such membership are brought to their attention. One of these is the death benefit fund and as a result of the financial management of the funds of the association by the treasurer, A. L. Reichenbach, mayor of the city of Allentown, it is now possible to pay over to the family of a deceased member or delegate a death benefit in the sum of $145. The annual dues for membership are $2, and it is believed this feature alone should attract a large number of fire companies not now enrolled. The association has promoted and supported legislation favorable to the individual fireman, whether of the volunteer or paid class, and to the fire companies and associations in borough, township and city. Under the act of April 20, 1905, the fire companies in the various counties in Pennsylvania are paid by the state treasurer each year a sum equal to one-half of the tax of two per cent, imposed upon all foreign insurance companies doing business in the respective boroughs, townships and cities throughout the state and it is the intention of President Bonniwell to bring before the next Legislature a bill providing for the payment of the full tax of two per cent, thus collected, which amount shall be distributed to the firemen’s pension funds of the respective localities. In the case of the Philadelphia fire department, the amount paid by the state to the pension fund last year under the provisions of the act was $43,890.28; and if the association is successful in amending the act so as to provide for the payment of the entire two per cent, the Philadelphia firemen’s pension fund will receive annually from the state the sum of approximately $90,000.