Justice and Public Safety
Service NL
April 17, 2018

Provincial Government Supports and Recognizes Search and Rescue Volunteers During Volunteer Week

This Volunteer Week, the Provincial Government is recognizing the contributions of Search and Rescue volunteers and continuing to expand its support for volunteer first responders in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Search and Rescue Association comprises 27 teams from across the province and has more than 1,000 volunteers. These volunteers are an integral part of public safety in this province and the work they do is extremely important.

In Budget 2018, government introduced a new Search and Rescue Volunteer Tax Credit that will allow eligible volunteers to claim a $3,000 non-refundable tax credit on their provincial income tax starting January 1, 2019.

Search and Rescue volunteers with at least 200 hours of service are eligible for the credit. The previous volunteer firefighters’ credit remains in place, and individuals who volunteer in both capacities can combine hours and choose one credit or the other.

The Provincial Government, along with WorkplaceNL, has made several enhancements in recent years to help volunteer and professional first responders. Presumptive cancer coverage is now available for qualified career and volunteer firefighters, which provides for wage-loss benefits, medical aids, and certain other benefits. WorkplaceNL has also modernized its mental stress policy to recognize that work-related mental stress issues may be caused by exposure to multiple traumatic events. The policy now includes events that are an inherent part of an occupation such as first responders witnessing fatalities.

“In Budget 2018 we expanded our government’s support for first responders by introducing a new $3,000 Search and Rescue Volunteer Tax Credit. Under difficult and precarious circumstances, our province’s search and rescue volunteers help others in what may be their darkest hour. Our government will always seek opportunities to support those who spend their time supporting others.”
Honourable Tom Osborne
Minister of Finance and President of Treasury Board

“Each year, approximately 150 people in this province are reported lost or missing. Search and rescue volunteers work hard to bring those people home safely to their families. It’s important that we do whatever we can to support the volunteers who play such an important role in search and rescue operations in Newfoundland and Labrador.”
Honourable Andrew Parsons
Minister of Justice and Public Safety

“Our government’s focus on improvements in programs and services includes our first responders who provide critical services within our communities. The hard work and selfless dedication of the members of the Newfoundland and Labrador Search and Rescue Association throughout our province is truly humbling, and I am pleased to be part of this announcement which assists them.”
Honourable Sherry Gambin-Walsh
Minister of Service NL

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Media contacts
Marc Budgell
709-729-2477, 689-0430

Lesley Clarke
Justice and Public Safety
709-729-6985, 693-7242

Melony O’Neill
Service NL
709-729-4860, 689-0928

2018 04 17                              11:50 a.m.