Sen. Warner announces volunteer first responders exempt from healthcare mandate
Some volunteer firefighters are nominally paid, and most volunteer first responders have other full-time employment. Many emergency response agencies do not have the resources to provide pay or benefits to volunteers, nor do most volunteer first responders expect to receive compensation or health coverage as a result of their volunteer public service. An estimated 48,000 volunteer firefighters serve across Virginia and an estimated 454 volunteer EMT’s, according to the Virginia Department of Fire Programs the Virginia Department of Health, respectively.
“This is a huge victory for volunteer emergency responders and the communities that rely on them,” Sen. Warner said. “I’ve said all along that there will be issues that arise with health care reform and that we should work in a bipartisan way to fix them. I am proud that together, we were able to solve this issue and keep America’s first responders working for their communities.”