Penn. County Approves Tax Rebate for Volunteer EMTs, Firefighters

Penn. County Approves Tax Rebate for Volunteer EMTs, Firefighters

News Sep 13, 2017

Sept. 12—JESSUP—Borough council unanimously approved an ordinance Monday night that will give borough volunteer firefighters and emergency medical technicians a 20 percent municipal property tax break through a rebate program.

Borough officials believe Jessup is among the first municipalities in Northeast Pennsylvania to enact such an ordinance. A recent state law authorized municipalities to offer incentives like tax credits to attract and retain volunteer fire and ambulance personnel. The 20 percent rebate council approved Monday is the maximum amount a municipality can offer under the law, borough solicitor Richard Fanucci said.

The ordinance will be in effect for the 2018 tax year. Under the program, a volunteer will pay a tax bill in full, then submit an application for the tax credit, Fanucci said. The volunteer will have to meet certain criteria to be eligible for the credit and a fire chief will have to sign off on the application.

The municipal property tax rate in Jessup is 21.7 mills. The median residential assessed value of property in Jessup is $8,246 and carries a $178.94 municipal real estate tax bill. The tax credit would be about $35.79.

In setting qualification criteria, council will consider the number of calls volunteers answer, the level of training completed and how much time they spend fundraising, bookkeeping and on other essential duties, Fanucci said. Council will seek input from borough fire chiefs while developing those guidelines and could approve the criteria as early as next month, Fanucci said.

While he said he understands the amount council approved Monday is the legal maximum, Jessup Hose Company 2 First Assistant Chief Joe Fetcho told council members the program isn't enough and won't be much of an incentive when comparing the return to the amount of time volunteers put into their duties.

"I think they should eliminate it for the volunteers, eliminate the property tax, then it might be an incentive," Fetcho said. "But for $30, you might as well keep my $30."

In other business, council voted to hire Larson Design Group for $10,800 to conduct a review of a proposal from Invenergy to discharge industrial wastewater from the Chicago-based company's currently under construction power plant into the municipal sewer system instead of into Grassy Island Creek.

The Times-Tribune, Scranton, Pa.

Clayton Over
The Pennsylvania Department of Health and Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council today recognized first responders for their commitment and dedication to delivering quality medical-care in the field during emergency situations.
Dr. Vincent Duron from the Columbia University Medical Center in New York received a $100,000 research grant to enhance standard pediatric trauma care.
The award-winning video features a series of stunning training courses driven by groundbreaking video demonstrations of the most commonly encountered fire ground evolutions.

A  7.1-magnitude earthquake on Tuesday leveled buildings, homes, and government centers across the city. At one partially flattened school, the hunt for dozens of missing children captivated the nation.

At least nine people have died, structural damage is extensive, and flooding coupled with 155mph winds has left the entire island without power.
The Volunteer First Responder Housing Act aims to recruit and retain volunteers in the community by providing discounts on house prices to eligible citizens.
An elite emergency response team comprised of paramedics, firefighters, search dogs and ER physicians are on standby waiting to deploy while nonprofits are raising money to help in relief efforts.
Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan said that Congress would add to the Disaster Relief Fund to assist in recovery efforts in Florida's hurricane-ravaged land.
The recruits have undergone six weeks of intensive training in the classroom and will be eligible to work in the Hall Ambulance Service upon passing the NREMT exam.
Deccan International, a leading provider of custom-built software tools for Fire and EMS, was recently awarded a publicly solicited contract made available through NPPGov/FireRescue GPO, a national public cooperative purchasing organization.
EMS personnel, their colleagues in healthcare and public safety, and the public are encouraged to provide input on the proposals outlined in the Straw Man document regarding the future of EMS.
The StethoSafe is a patent pending case that greatly extends the life of a stethoscope by quickly and easily protecting the head of a stethoscope.
First responders from around the country gathered to participate in a water rescue training program despite some of the instructors being deployed to hurricanes Harvey and Irma rescue efforts.
The First Responders-Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act Grant will provide training and other resources to assist paramedics, law enforcement and health workers to prevent and treat opioid addiction.
The Department of Health granted $300,000 to the San Bernardino to purchase a mobile Class B fire simulator to replace the decade-old one.