HARRISBURG – Senator Tommy Tomlinson (R-Bucks) said enactment of a new law will help volunteer fire and EMS companies finance equipment purchases while supporting Pennsylvania’s manufacturing industry.
House Bill 1706, which was signed into law earlier this month, will double the current loan limits for the Volunteer Loan Assistance Program (VLAP) for the purchase, repair or rehabilitation of vehicles, equipment and facilities.
Under the new loan limits, volunteer fire, EMS and ambulance companies will be eligible for low-interest loans of up to $200,000 to cover up to 50 percent of the cost to purchase new vehicles and apparatus.
“Many of the volunteer fire, EMS and ambulance companies in our area have voiced concerns regarding the up-front cost of new equipment purchases,” Tomlinson said. “Increasing the loan limits will help volunteer organizations keep their focus on saving lives and protecting property without the added stress of wondering how they will afford the equipment they need.”
The new law also includes a provision that allows volunteer companies to exceed loan limits by up to $20,000 for the purchase of equipment that is manufactured in Pennsylvania, providing a strong incentive for volunteer companies to support Pennsylvania manufacturers.
The VLAP extension was financed by existing bond issues and does not require the use of additional state tax dollars.