STEELTON, Pa. (KDKA) – Pennsylvania volunteer fire departments received almost $60 million in state aid, a $5 million increase from last year.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale released about $60 million on Tuesday to support volunteer firefighters.

In 2018, 2,518 municipalities received $55.1 million for distribution to volunteer firefighters’ relief associations to provide training, purchase equipment and insurance and pay for death benefits.

The auditor general’s press release said volunteer firefighters’ relief associations receive state aid from a 2 percent state tax on fire insurance premiums that are bought by Pennsylvania residents from out-of-state casualty insurance companies.

The 2019 state aid distribution will give those 2,518 municipalities $59.9 million.

“State aid provided to volunteer firefighters’ relief associations helps dedicated first responders save lives and protect our communities,” a press release said, quoting DePasquale during a visit to the Steelton Fire Department in Dauphin County.

“The state funding I am announcing today will help provide life-saving equipment, critical training and insurance for tens of thousands of volunteer firefighters all across the state.”

To see the full county-by-county chart, visit the Auditor General’s website here.