By Jim Melwert
Norristown, Pa. (CBS) — Voicing concern over the current funding formula of volunteer fire companies, some mainline fire and rescue organizations are banding together to try to raise awareness, not only of the challenges, but also to how much money they currently save taxpayers.
“T-E Fire Companies Funding Coalition” is made up of Berwyn, Paoli, Radnor, and Malvern fire companies. The goal, says Berwyn fire chief Eamon Brazunas, is to try to find solutions now before this reaches crisis level.
“From Radnor up to Malvern, we do our community outreach on an annual basis,” said Brazunas, “Less than 30-percent of the households donate.”
Brazunas says with less than a quarter of their funding coming from municipalities, the endless fundraising has a negative effect on volunteer membership.
“Our effort here is focused on what can we do to jointly work with the townships to deal with this now and not keep kicking the can down the road.”
He says the volunteer model saves the township millions of dollars a year, and he hopes conversations now can save that model down the road.