PLATTSMOUTH – Thirty-six Plattsmouth volunteer firefighters have earned a $250 tax credit through LB 886, the Volunteer Emergency Responders Incentive Act.
Assistant Fire Chief Bill Dudek asked Plattsmouth City Council members Monday night to approve a list of the firefighters certified to receive the tax credit.
Dudek: “Three years ago, the Legislature passed the bill, which gives us a $250 tax credit. We did it last year and we are requesting approval to do it again this year.”
The tax credit is earned based on a points system that values the things that most firefighters are doing anyway including response calls, drills, training, meetings, fire prevention presentations and community involvement.
To receive the credit, firefighters must earn 50 of 100 points by responding to fire calls and working on projects listed in different categories at the fire station.
Dudek: “We track the fire calls and the time they spend there. Points are associated with each category. We track by the hour. Normally, some go over the required 50 points. One individual does about 500 hours a year.”
Deborah Knopik serves as the Plattsmouth Volunteer Fire Department Certification Administrator, a position required to keep track of the points earned toward the credit.
Dudek said the department will continue to fine tune its tracking, categories and point system as time goes by.
This year, 36 of the 53 Plattsmouth volunteer firefighters earned the credit. Due to medical complications or military leave, 17 did not earn the required points.
According to the Nebraska State Volunteer Firefighters Association, LB 886 provides “one of the best recruiting, retention and response tools volunteer firefighters have ever had.”
Photo courtesy of Plattsmouth Volunteer Fire Department: firefighters training for water rescues. Training sessions earn points toward the $250 tax credit through LB 886, passed in 2016.