HARRISBURG – The Senate Resolution 6 (SR6) Commission today unveiled its final report featuring 92 concepts incorporated into 27 recommendations to address challenges faced by the fire and EMS community, said Rep. Frank Farry (R-Bucks), co-chair of the House Firefighters and Emergency Services Caucus and member of the commission.
The 102-page report includes suggestions for changes at the state and local levels to improve the delivery of emergency services in the Commonwealth with a focus on three key areas: staffing, funding and training needs.
“While their shared mission is public safety, the fire and EMS communities are very different as far as their needs go — a one-size-fits-all solution to this crisis will not work,” Farry said. “This report provides a menu of options, so communities can find what solutions will work best for them and the state Legislature can ensure statewide improvements provide the appropriate amount of flexibility.”
As a volunteer firefighter for nearly 30 years and Fire Chief of Langhorne-Middletown Fire Department for 18 years, Farry used his experiences with other first responder commission members to help develop the report.
Many of the final recommendations include legislation already introduced, including several measures authored by Farry. Those measures include efforts to ensure mental wellness for first responders, changes to the Fire Relief Fund and use of those funds, as well as reviews of the State Worker’s Insurance Fund and workman’s compensation for volunteer firefighters.
The final report recommends specific legislative action for the Pennsylvania General Assembly in the 2019-20 session, which begins in January. The commission noted its next step is to educate local governments and members of the House and Senate on the issues and solutions.
“Our first responders have told us what resources they need to continue to provide vital services to local communities,” Farry said. “But these organizations can’t be successful without support from the state and local government. I look forward to working with members of the House and Senate and the governor to advance these important causes in 2019.”
Principal and Chief Engineer of Fire Planning Associates Inc. (Bucks County) Greg Jakubowski also served as a member of the commission and said many fire service organizations within the county are eager to help get the recommendations implemented.
“There are many individuals who have been ready to send letters and start lobbying their legislators and local governments for these changes,” he said.
The SR6 Commission was established by a concurrent resolution adopted in the Legislature in spring 2017. The commission includes 39 members, including members of the Senate and House, representatives of the fire and EMS community and associated organizations, and municipalities.
A copy of the SR6 Commission’s final report is available at RepFarry.com
Representative Frank Farry
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Abbey Haslam