Serving as a member of the volunteer fire department offers many benefits, both tangible and intangible. Intangible benefits of serving in fire department are the most significant, and include:
Sense of satisfaction from serving
Gaining new skills and confidence
Fulfilling a necessary role in the community
Tangible benefits of serving in the fire department are relatively few given the non-profit, low-budget nature of the department. However, there are a few minor benefits with the potential for significant benefits on the horizon. As an active member of the fire department, you may be eligible to apply for a special volunteer firefighter license plate. This license plate is exempt from the biannual custom plate renewal fee. Recognizing the commitment in time and energy involved in emergency services and the value of a robust emergency services infrastructure, the federal, state, and local governments are considering various benefits for volunteer firefighters. Under consideration are federal income tax credits and local property tax reductions. Starting in 2007, New York State has offered a tax credit of $200 per active member; the form is called IT-245.
Members are also allowed, if approved by the chief, to have a blue light in their car, however this does not entitle them to break any motor vehicle laws. It is only to serve as a notification that they are responding to a call. It in no way requires that other motorist yield the road to them.