Bill Aimed At Saving Volunteer Fire Departments and EMS Systems Ready For Floor Action:
The Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act (H.R. 3970), would exempt volunteer emergency services workers from the ACA’s definition and prevent the closure of critical emergency services across the country.
Without passage of the bill, volunteer department would have to carefully limit critical volunteers from responding more than 29 hours per week or face devastating budget hits in the form of mandated insurance or penalties.
These departments are hard-pressed to find necessary personnel in the existing economy and have faced frozen or falling tax revenues from decreased property values and reduced income tax revenues for local governmental units. Non-government organizations would also face the same budget issues with their communities hard-hit by unemployment and depressed business.
The bill has cleared committee and awaits floor action from the full House