In an effort to bolster its shrinking ranks of volunteer firefighters, York County is elevating its tax rebate program from 50% to 100%. Commissioner Julie Wheeler emphasizes the program is more about recognizing these vital community members than the financial incentive.
Recognition Over Finances
Acknowledging the declining number of volunteer firefighters, York County initiated a 50% tax rebate program in 2022 now doubling it to 100%. This aims to honor the commitment of these volunteers who put their lives on the line for public safety.
Chief Brad Dauberman of Shrewsbury Fire Company highlights the program’s significance in addressing gaps in emergency response system. He views it as a marathon to attract more volunteers, recognizing the sacrifices they make including missing holidays and special occasions.
The rebate isn’t exclusive to active firefighters; auxiliary volunteers managing various roles receive a 50% rebate. Chad Deardorff, president of the Fire Chiefs and Firefighters Association emphasizes the importance of recognizing all contributors not just those on the frontlines.
While the rebate is a financial incentive, Chief Dauberman underscores that the focus is on appreciation for volunteers’ dedication irrespective of their roles. The hope is that this program inspires similar initiatives in more local municipalities to strengthen the volunteer firefighting community.
Commissioner Wheeler expresses optimism that this enhanced program will attract more volunteers reinforcing the backbone of York County’s emergency response system. The move aligns with a broader trend where communities are recognizing and valuing the selfless contributions of their firefighters.