Representing Wisconsin State Assembly District 93 At some point in our lifetime, we will likely find ourselves in a situation that requires us to call for help, and we rely on a silent network of …
Representing Wisconsin State Assembly District 93
At some point in our lifetime, we will likely find ourselves in a situation that requires us to call for help, and we rely on a silent network of dedicated responders to be prepared and help us in our time of need. That is why we need to continue to proactively address the current shortage in some of our first responder work forces and provide a boost to those currently serving. Throughout my time in the State Assembly, I have been proud to team up with fellow State Rep. Treig Pronschinske, who is a volunteer firefighter with the Mondovi Fire Department, to find ways that the state can help in addressing the ongoing firefighter shortage. Over the last decade, the number of volunteer firefighters continues to decline, with volunteer firefighting numbers reaching a record low in 2016 and 2017.
In this session, I am once again co-authoring legislation to provide our volunteer firefighters and emergency responders with a tax credit for their work to help retain those currently volunteering. This tax credit will be used to help cover some of their equipment and fuel costs as they are serving to help our community. This bill passed unanimously out of the State Assembly last session and I’m hoping it will get to the governor’s desk for his signature this session.
In addition to helping retain our current volunteer firefighting workforce, we need to bring more youth into this public service. Included in the recently signed budget was a provision to provide $100,000 for the development and implementation of a youth volunteer firefighter training grant program._The program will provide grants to innovative and creative pilot programs in our state that aim at recruiting a diverse pool of 17 and 18-year-olds to be trained as firefighters.
Most importantly, we must also continue to recognize and acknowledge the hard work these courageous first responders do to keep us safe._That is why my office is now accepting nominations for the 'First Responder of the Year' Award for someone in the 93rd_Assembly District. The applicant could be a police officer or sheriff’s deputy, a firefighter, or any level of EMS provider (paramedic, EMT, first responder), and can be either a paid or volunteer public servant._ You could nominate someone for their specific heroic action, for how they have changed their community, or because of their length of service. The winner will be invited to attend a session of the Assembly to be honored as a Hometown Hero. You can fill out an online nomination on my website at_www.RepWarrenPetryk.co m Our local firefighters and all our emergency service members who volunteer deserve our thanks, and we should wholeheartedly support their efforts. If you are interested in helping your community, please consider participating in this critical endeavor that is so important for the future safety and wellbeing of our rural communities.