Volunteer firefighters in Door and Kewaunee Counties could be seeing a little extra money come their way if a bill is approved by the Wisconsin Legislature. The recently proposed BRAVE Act would give volunteer firefighters and emergency medical services personnel an annual $300 tax credit in their first five years, a number that would double in each subsequent year after that. The hope is the tax credit would help recruitment efforts for rural, volunteer departments that have seen the average age climb to nearly 60 years old according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht says anything that can be done to help departments recruit more members is welcomed.
The bipartisan bill could have a tremendous impact statewide since more than 90 percent of Wisconsin’s departments are volunteer-driven according to the U.S. Fire Administration.