Are you willing to pay more in taxes to have help available when you dial 9-1-1?

Local News

The 9-1-1 call goes out for an emergency or fire, but there’s no one to answer the call; it’s a growing problem with many communities; not enough volunteers. So, what can be done to staff those volunteer departments so someone is always available?

The answer is simple; raise your taxes to help pay for someone to staff those volunteer departments 24/7.  But, would you agree to pay more in taxes to ensure when you call 9-1-1, help is immediately on the way?  

As it stands now, if there is an emergency of fire in an outlying community, volunteers are called to help.  But, nowadays, both husband and wife are working and volunteers are few and far between. 

So, what will it take to make sure those volunteer departments are staffed 24/7?  It would involve raising your taxes or giving a tax break to volunteers. 

Harborcreek Supervisor and Volunteer Firefighter Tim May says, “Statewide, it is becoming popular for the tax breaks for volunteers and that is certainly something we’re considering to help our volunteers any way we can”.

So, would you be willing to pay more in taxes to have a staffed volunteer department?

One community member, Tonya Gardiner, says, ” Absolutely, it’s an awful lot to expect somebody to give up their safety, their own life and time. They’re doing that to help the community”.

Another, Pete Paszkowski, says, “I think it makes sense for public safety. It’s harder and harder to get people out there.”

It would cost a community hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to fully staff a volunteer department, money many communities do not have.

The growing crisis led to the development of a committee of 32 members and their findings.  For the full report, click here. 

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