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Lawmakers introduce legislation in support of volunteer firefighters

The bills would enhance communities’ ability to recruit and retain volunteer responders

By FireRescue1 Staff

WASHINGTON — Two U.S. senators introduced two bills that would support the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters and EMS providers.

The Bay Times and Record Observer reported that Senators Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, introduced the Volunteer Responder Incentive Protection Act (VRIPA) and the Volunteer Firefighters’ Length of Service Award Program (LOSAP) Cap Adjustment Priority Act. The two bills would protect incentives communities provide for volunteer responders.

“Our volunteer firefighters are on the front lines defending our neighborhoods and keeping our citizens safe," Cardin said. "These modest changes will make it easier for communities across Maryland and nationwide to recruit and retain the bravest men and women who are ready to defend against whatever might come next. Protecting our communities from harm is one of the most basic functions of government.”

VRIPA would give communities the authority to reduce property taxes for volunteer firefighters and EMS providers up to $600 per year.

The LOSAP Cap Act would increase the annual retirement account cap to $6,000.

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