New York Offers Incentives To Volunteers

04.19.12 | Jeremy Miller

Volunteer Firefighters

Proposed legislation aims to keep New York's volunteer firefighters and emergency medical technicians by offering more perks to join their ranks and help local towns support their hometown heroes by preventing potential for future property tax increases. The Firemen's Association of the State of New York says if local municipalities replaced their volunteer emergency servicemen with paid positions, it would cost taxpayers more than $7 Billion a year. If passed, the Emergency Services Volunteer Act would provide a $400 state income tax credit for volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers who have been active for four or more consecutive years. It would also exempt company vehicles from registration fees. Under the ESVA, volunteer companies could use state-administered funds to help lower member's health insurance costs and offset college tuition. Right now, there are 60,000 fewer volunteer firefighers than there were 20 years ago and 15,000 fewer EMT's.