With National Volunteer Week upon us, the province is extending an appreciative handshake to volunteer first responders in the way of new tax credits.

The Government of Saskatchewan announced, “Three new tax credits are being created for volunteer firefighters, search and rescue volunteers and volunteer emergency medical first responders, in recognition of the invaluable contributions to the safety within Saskatchewan’s communities”.

Volunteer first responders often put themselves in harms way and take on the difficult and challenging situations for the greater good of an individual, family, local business or the community as a whole.

“These tax credits acknowledge the difficult and demanding work of these brave individuals, recognizes their ongoing training to be prepared for the call of duty, and hopefully encourages others to step in to these volunteer roles to serve alongside their neighbours, which will enhance public safety in our communities,” said Warren Keading, Government Relations Minister.

During a gathering earlier this week, Kevin Eskra, president of the Saskatchewan Association of Fire Chiefs, shared he thinks this initiative will help boost the growth within first responders and outlined how in some communities the numbers have started to dwindle.

The initiative will allow individuals who perform a minimum of 200 hours of eligible volunteer services in a year to claim a $3000 tax credit.

Eligible volunteer services include responding to and being on call for search and rescue and other emergency calls, attending required meetings and participating in required training.

The new tax credits will come into effect with the 2020 taxation year.

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