This was posted by the Gladwyne Civic Association and explains perfectly what is needed.
HELP THE VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS OF LMFD
A simple, quick email from you could make a huge difference!
There used to be a campaign that noted, “Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires.” Right now we need you to help our volunteer Firefighters.
Many residents are unaware that the LMFD is comprised of 7 separate fire companies: Gladwyne, Belmont Hills, Penn Wynne, Bryn Mawr, Merion Fire Company of Ardmore, Narberth and Union Fire Association of Bala Cynwyd.
Each fire company is comprised of some career staff, but the backbone of each are the volunteers. In LM there are slightly over 2000 alarms per year of which over 1/2 are false yet, without knowing real or not, our Firefighters, be it 2 in the afternoon are 2 a.m. in the morning, leave their jobs or the comfort of their beds and respond. There are 240 volunteers in our fire service, but to achieve the status of Firefighter #1 (“FF#1”) it requires 180 hours of training.
As the complexity of life and the commitment to training make the demand of volunteering more taxing we lose and need replace about 10% of our volunteers each year.
In 2017 the State legislature passed a Statute allowing municipalities and School Districts to provide tax credit rebates to those firefighters who meet certain metrics demonstrating their actual contribution to the fire service. Effective 2022, after the State Legislature eliminated a 20% cap on the rebate. Immediately, the Township increased the credit to a 100% rebate. The County and School may likewise do the same but to date have not.
Only those firefighters who have a minimum of FF#1 accreditation, have received a total of 115 points for responding to calls, participating in drills, achieved certification for training and recognition for years of service and credit for those with active military service may qualify for a tax credit.
The cost to the Township for this rebate is approximately $42,000 and if the School District provided the same 100% rebate it would cost about $336,000 (which is less than 1% of the School’s annual Budget). This would equate to an approximate rebate (meaning they first must pay the tax and then they get their own money back) of $7,000 per eligible firefighter.
Recently, the Chair of the Township’s Fire Committee, Commissioner Dan Bernheim appeared before the School Board requesting this tax credit rebate be part of the School District’s upcoming budget. He was asked upon what basis he was confident that the residents of LM would support such a program. Thus, having received the support from the Gladwyne Civic Association, we ask that you contact the School Board and let them know of your support of this program which is so vital for the recruitment and retention of our Firefighters.
We would like to ask you to support our wonderful volunteers by asking the School Board to move forward with a 100% property tax rebate.
You can send a quick email the Board by clicking email@example.com .