From Harford County government:
The Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association, as well as the individual fire and EMS companies throughout the county, will soon initiate a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with county government. The MOU is the result of several months of discussion and work by county government, as well as fire, EMS and Association officials to help ensure accountability of funds distributed with the county’s volunteer fire and EMS service.
The MOU will be similar in nature to other agreements county government has with non-profit organizations and groups it supports through the Department of Community Services.
Since FY 2008, County Executive David R. Craig and the Harford County Council has provided more than $60 million in funding to the county’s volunteer fire and EMS service. Recently Harford County Government entered into an agreement with the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company to build a substation for the company at the corner of Patterson Mill Road and MD Rt. 924 near Bel Air. The projected cost for the capital project is estimated at nearly $3 million.
“The citizens of Harford County are blessed to have a great cadre of volunteer fire and EMS personnel that serve their communities well,” stated County Executive David R. Craig. “We are funding our volunteer fire service at unprecedented levels, much higher than many other counties in the state, and therefore we want to ensure accountability and efficiency of our taxpayer’s dollars,” Craig remarked.
Commenting on the new MOU agreement with county government, William Dousa, President of the Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association stated, “We are grateful for the level of funding provided to the fire service by Harford County and look forward to continuing our partnership of service with county government. The relationship between the Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association and county government translates to a yearly savings of approximately $40 million to the citizens of Harford County. The Harford County volunteer fire and EMS service will continue to provide the most technologically advance and progressive fire and EMS service to our citizens,” Dousa remarked.
The new MOU between Harford County Government and each fire and EMS company, as well as the Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association includes provisions related to the annual distribution of funds on a quarterly basis; an itemized budget outlining the manner county funds will be utilized during the fiscal year; a bonding requirement for members of the companies that handle funds or other assets; and an annual audit to ensure adequate accounting systems and practices are in place and will be used to ensure appropriate accountability of funds provided by county government.
During FY 2012, Harford County Government will provide $6.8 million to the fire and EMS companies and another $4.9 million to support Workers’ Compensation, the Length of Service Awards Program (LOSAP), the Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association and the Harford County EMS Foundation.