The Volunteer Fire Department Fund and Volunteer Rescue/EMS Fund provide matching grants for fire and rescue departments to purchase equipment and make capital improvements. The Department of Insurance’s (DOI’s) failure to compare actual to projected receipts for both grant programs has resulted in an $8 million surplus in the Volunteer Fire Department Fund. Additionally, DOI’s oversight of the grant award and distribution process could be improved. The General Assembly should determine how to apply the surplus in the Volunteer Fire Department Fund and direct DOI to improve its oversight of both grant programs.
- Department of State Treasurer Should Strengthen Its Oversight of the Firefighters’ and Rescue Squad Workers’ Pension Fund (March 2014)
- Revenue and Cost Trends Indicate Deficit in Volunteer Safety Workers’ Compensation Fund in FY 2020–21 (February 2014)
- Local Boards and Associations Administer Firefighters’ and Rescue Squad Workers’ Relief Funds with Limited State Oversight (November 2013)
- FOLLOW-UP REPORT
- S.L. 2014-64: Amended laws related to (1) local firefighters’ relief funds, the statewide Firefighters’ Relief Fund, and the Rescue Squad Workers’ Relief Fund, (2) Workers’ Compensation for firefighters and rescue squad workers, (3) supplemental pensions for firefighters and rescue squad workers, and (4) the Volunteer Fire Department Fund and Volunteer Rescue/EMS Fund.
Subsequent Agency Actions:
- DOI will expend excess funds to all eligible fire departments through the Volunteer Fire Department Fund grant program within two to three years. DOI is also currently comparing actual receipts rather than projected receipts as of the 2014 Rescue/EMS grants. Annual reporting to the General Assembly on these grants includes information on fund revenue as required by Session Law 2014-64, Section 4. Lastly, an internal document that describes how grant points are determined will be written in conjunction with the creation of the new database program, and a written policy addressing grant equipment audits will be developed when additional resources are available.