Tax Credit Incentive Offered to Fire and EMS Volunteers

MIDDLE SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Eugene Berry is the Assistant Fire Chief at Marshalls Creek Volunteer Fire Company. He's been volunteering his time to keep others safe for almost 50 years and knows the struggle of finding others to do the same.

"We definitely are shorthanded much of the time. During daytime hours, we may have five or six guys show up for a working structure fire," Berry said.

To help attract volunteers, Middle Smithfield Township supervisors recently adopted a new ordinance that gives local tax credits to volunteer firefighters and EMS workers. It will allow the township to give money back to active volunteers come tax time.

"It in no way repays for all the lost time, the phone rings, you're in the middle of dinner with your family and you get up and you go or in the middle of the night, you get up and go. It in no way repays that, but at least it is something that we can do," said Annette Atkinson, Middle Smithfield Township.

People who already volunteer their time believe the tax credits are a great way to get some younger people on board.

"We are very thankful for it, very, very thankful for it and we hope, at least the members of the Marshalls Creek Fire Company, covering other townships, that those other townships will do the same thing," said Berry.

If you are interested in learning more about volunteering at Marshalls Creek Volunteer Fire Company, you're invited to drill night, held every Tuesday at 7 p.m.