Browndale Fire Co. 
Fire Station 43 
Standard Operating Guidelines 

Date of Issue: 1-12-2009 
Effective Date: 1-12-2009
Developed by: Ronald Richards, Assistant Fire Chief 
Issued by Authority of: David M. Richards, Fire Chief  David M. Richards

S.O.G. 400-09-01 
Personnel activity documentation

I. PURPOSE 
It is the intent to establish a guideline  to insure appropriate activity documentation is in place for all Station 43. 

II. SCOPE 
This operating guideline is developed to insure all station 43 personnelís activities, emergent and non-emergent are documented. The documentation is required to insure appropriate credit can be insured for Act 66.

On July 9, 2008, Governor Rendell signed into law Act 66, which amended the Tax Reform Code of 1971 (Code). This Article provides for a $100.00 volunteer responder retention and recruitment tax credit against the volunteer responderís State income tax liability.  The tax credit must be earned in the calendar year, but may be applied against the volunteer responderís State income tax liability for not only 2008, but also against the State income tax liability for three succeeding taxable years, until the tax credit has been exhausted. 

The Act further directed the State Fire Commissioner and the Director of Emergency Medical Services Bureau to develop a point system in order to determine eligibility for a volunteer to responder. 

A volunteer responder must earn a total of 50 points between Jan. 1, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2008, to be eligible for the state income tax credit. Responders can accumulate points through obtaining certifications, attending training courses and organizational meetings, through response rates, sleep-in and standby times, holding elected and/or appointed positions, lifetime membership, military leave, and other related administrative and support activities as outlined in the  Volunteer Responder Tax Credit Point System. 
 
To qualify for the tax credit the volunteer responder must earn the number of points jointly prescribed by the State Fire Commissioner (Commissioner) and the Director of the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services (Director) in the Department of Health to be certified as an active volunteer. If an active volunteer maintains that status for all 12 months in 2008, the active volunteer is entitled to a $100 tax credit. If an active volunteer maintains that status for less than 12 months, the active volunteer is entitled to a prorated tax credit in accordance with a formula prescribed in Article XVIII-D of the Code.

Pursuant to Article XVIII-D, only a volunteer responder of a volunteer fire company, volunteer  rescue company, or volunteer ambulance service, as these organizations are defined in section 102 of the Volunteer Fire Company and Ambulance Service Grant Act, is eligible for the tax credit. 

A volunteer responder who does not earn enough points with any one volunteer organization nevertheless qualifies as an active volunteer if the total points the volunteer responder earns through service to different volunteer organizations during 2008 equals or exceeds the number of points needed to qualify as an active volunteer.

The Commissioner and the Director hereby give notice of the point system they have jointly established for volunteer responders to qualify as active volunteers and earn a State income tax credit in 2008. To qualify as an active volunteer, a volunteer responder needs to earn fifty (50) points from January 1 through December 31, 2008, as follows:

Certifications:
Emergency medical services (EMS) and rescue personnel who are certified or recognized under the Emergency Medical Services Act (EMS Act) and the regulations promulgated under the EMS Act shall be awarded ten (10) points. 

Fire service personnel who are certified to at least firefighter 1 by the National Professional Qualifications Standards Board (Pro Board) or through the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) will be awarded ten (10) points. (This also includes Vehicle Rescue Technicians, Fire Police, and Hazardous Material Technicians.) A maximum of twenty (20) points can be earned in this category.

Training Courses:
Individuals shall be awarded five (5) points for each training course they attend. The course must issue a regional/state/national certificate of completion. A maximum of twenty-five (25) points can be earned in this category.

Attendance at Organizational Meetings:
Individuals shall be awarded one (1) point for each organization meeting attended. These include fire department (FD)/EMS/Rescue company meetings, County/State EMS/FD/Rescue Association meetings, Regional and State EMS/Rescue and fire meetings.
(Examples of the latter are regional EMS council meetings, Pennsylvania Fire and Emergency Services Institute meetings, Firemanís Association of State of Pennsylvania (PA) meetings, Firemenís Legislative Federation meetings, County Association meetings, PA Emergency Health Services Council meetings, and Ambulance Association of PA meetings.)  A maximum of fifteen (15) points can be earned in this category.

Fire/EMS/Rescue Response Rate:
Individuals shall be awarded points based upon the percent of the volunteer organizationís total responses in which they participated. The individualís FD/EMS/Rescue response rate is calculated by dividing the total number of responses the individual made for the FD/EMS/Rescue Company by the total number of incidents responded to by the FD/EMS/Rescue organization throughout the year. This number is then multiplied by 100 and rounded to the nearest whole number. This is the percentage of FD/EMS/Rescue responses of the volunteer organizationís total responses for the year in which the individual participated. Individuals shall be awarded one (1) point for each percentage point in this category for a maximum of twenty-five (25) points.

Related Activities:
Individuals shall be awarded one (1) point for every two (2) hours of work. This activity is time spent on administration and support activities, including fundraising and maintenance of facilities and equipment. This involvement may also be in other projects that directly benefit the organizationís financial viability, emergency response or operational readiness as authorized by the chief or president of the organization. Individuals can earn amaximum of twenty five (25) points in this category.

Drills/Training and Education:
Individuals shall be awarded five (5) points for every two (2) hours of documented in-house exercise, training or education. Individuals can earn a maximum of twenty-five (25) points in this category.

Elected/Appointed Positions:
Individuals shall be awarded ten (10) points for serving as a line officer or official within the organization. This position must be authorized by the organizationís bylaws or Standard Operation Guidelines (SOGís). Individuals can earn a maximum of ten (10) points in this category.

Life Membership/Active Service:
Life members shall be awarded five (5) points. Life membership is achieved by an individual who is a life member in the organization as defined in the organizationís bylaws or SOGís and who has accumulated at least fifteen (15) years of active status.

Military Leave:
Individuals who have been issued active duty orders to serve in the U. S. military shall be awarded five (5) points for each month during which they cannot participate in the organizationís normal emergency response activities because of this call to service. To qualify for these points the individual must have earned points by participating in emergency response activities in at least one month during the year. Individuals can earn a maximum of forty (40) points in this category.

Sleep In/Standby:
Individuals shall be awarded one (1) point for each for each eight (8) hours of standby either in the station or as part of a rostered duty crew and being available to respond on a call for the organizationís emergency response. Credit for standby can only be given if no credit is received for a response to a call during the Standby period. Individuals can earn a maximum of twenty (20) points in this category.

A volunteer responder is considered an active volunteer in any month in which the person is a member of a volunteer fire company, volunteer rescue company or volunteer ambulance service. No individual may be able to earn all of the required points in one category. Points must be earned in a minimum of two categories to qualify. No credit will be awarded for any activity for which the individual is compensated in any form except for normal expenses.

III. RESPONSIBILTIES 
The fire chief is responsible to insure compliance with for appropriate credit as described above 
Operations officers are responsible to insure appropriate, accurate information is recorded regarding, training, incident responses, station and apparatus maintenance, fund raising activities and meetings. 

All firefighters are responsible to insure their activity records are up to date and accurate.
The Secretary will calculate points as describe above on or about July 1 and at Decemember 31, providing this information to all officers and individual members.

IV. PROCEDURES 
In the watchroom, a three ring binder, labled ďPersonnel Activity DocumentationĒ is indexed alphabetically by each memberís name. Within each section, space is provided to document the above outlined activities and other means of accumulating points for Act 66.

Individuals are responsible for completing this information on a continuing basis, insuring all activities are documented and scored appropriately.  For convenience purposes, officers may assist in recording information during company training programs, inspections or other activities when multiple personnel may be involved.

For activities that do not occur within the confines of the station (i.e. out service training), individuals shall recording that information in the book and at the completion insure certifications or certificates of completion are available for review.

Incident activities will be recorded in the incident log book.

The Chief for Safety and Training and the Chief for Operations will periodically review the activity binder accuracy and to insure compliance.

The Secretary will tabulate the information using the Excel Worksheet provided by the Office of the State Fire Commissioner  on or about July 1 and after December 31. At the end of the year, the Secretary will provide appropriate documentation for those who have maintained active status in accordance with the act. 
                         
VI. SUPERSEDED GUIDELINES 
This  is a new guidleline. It does not supercede any guideline on this subject matter.
 
 

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