Volunteer Firefighters and EMS personnel can be some of the hardest positions to fill, because of the number of hours needed for training and the intense amount of work that is needed for those positions. Out of pocket costs along with helping recruit can be labor intensive and cost cities money that they don’t have. State Senator Andy Manar is working on helping communities with these costs.
Senator Manar pushed through Senate Bill 3224 which provides a $500 tax credit to those who serve as volunteer firefighters and EMS providers. It is intended to help reduce the financial burden for these first responders and for the cities and communities that need help.
Currently, 70% of all fire departments in Illinois are volunteer-based, and many of those same departments also use volunteer EMS providers as well. The legislation had been introduced by Senator Jason Barickman and Ram Villavalam. The next step for the bill will be the Revenue Subcommittee on Tax Exemptions and Credits.