HARRISBURG – Tax credits would be provided to volunteer first responders in PA in an effort to encourage more people to serve. Many volunteer companies and departments are suffering from the inability to recruit and retain personnel needed to keep our communities safe. Legislation sponsored by Allegheny County Rep. Mandy Steele would create the A Volunteer First Responder Education Tax Credit Program, which will provide a scholarship of up to $5,000 to each active volunteer first responder who attends a PA institution of higher learning on a full-time basis and $2,500 on a part-time basis. Businesses that contribute to a scholarship program at an institution of higher learning would be eligible for a tax credit. In the 1970s, PA had more than 300,000 volunteer firefighters, and that number has dwindled down to about 37,000.