Auditor: Volunteer Fire Services Saved Del. Taxpayers $244-Million


Delaware taxpayers were saved more than $244-million dollars for the fiscal year that ended June 30th thanks to volunteer fire services, according to the Delaware Volunteer Volunteer Fire Service Special Report released by State Auditor Kathy McGuiness Thursday.

“These volunteers not only sacrifice their time and energy, but they also saved the state taxpayers more of more than $244 million this past fiscal year,” McGuiness said. “Volunteer first responders save lives and my special report recognizes their value while ensuring transparency to the Delaware taxpayer.”

However, volunteer services have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Members face a high risk of exposure at accident scenes, fires and EMS responses, and many of their traditional fundraisers and events have been canceled.

McGuiness has recommended that congress pass extra stimulus funding for state and local governments that prioritize local firefighting efforts and their equipment needs. She has also suggested that Delaware lawmakers create a separate fund from the Grant-in-Aid package to support volunteer fire services.

“First responders are on the frontlines of the Coronavirus pandemic,” McGuiness added. “We should not only give them the recognition they deserve, but also give our support to upholding the longevity of the volunteer fire service in Delaware.”