Firefighters are hoping to receive tax-credit compensation for the hours in which they put their lives at risk to aid others.

Bruce Burrell, Calgary fire chief and chair of the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs, said volunteer firefighters rarely get any compensation at all and, in some communities, are sometimes penalized by their place of employment for leaving to attend to an emergency.

“If public safety is in fact a priority for the federal government ... then there should be deductions for volunteer firefighters,” Burrell said.

He and others in the association are petitioning the minister of Finance to include the bill in the upcoming federal budget or pick it up at the third reading where it left off.

The bill would allow volunteers to receive $1,000 in tax credits for up to 100 hours of service and $2,000 for more than 200 hours.

Burrell said if nothing is done to compensate volunteer firefighters, there will eventually be crises in smaller communities that depend on them.

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