Blandford Commission supports increase in volunteer tax credits

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On August 8, 2011, the Commission for Fire Protection for the District of Blandford and District 1 unanimously passed a motion requesting that the Province of Nova Scotia increase the Volunteer Firefighters and Ground Search & Rescue Tax Credit to $ 1000 at the earliest opportunity. The commission noted that all volunteer fire departments are facing challenges with recruitment and retention of volunteers to serve their communities. Volunteer firefighting has become a challenging job with more training requirements to meet changing regulations. And it isn't limited to fires which in themselves have become more complicated and often feature hazardous materials. Communities like ours depend on our volunteer firefighters as medical first responders for medical emergencies and accidents. An EMS ambulance with paramedics has to come from Hubbards or Chester so our volunteers are always first on the scene in those critical first few minutes of an emergency.

The commission believes the tax credit increase is a prudent and appropriate way for the province to recognize the work of the approximately 7000 volunteer firefighters in Nova Scotia. It may also be an added incentive for the recruitment of new volunteers. In the Motion, the commission asks fire agencies and provincial politicians to support and promote this increase in the tax credit for our volunteer firefighters.