- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Thousands of volunteer fire departments across the nation face closure or financial hardship because of Obamacare mandates the require the volunteer forces to be treated like employees and given full health coverage.

The Daily Mail reported that the Internal Revenue Service considers volunteer firefighters employees if they work more than 30 hours each week — and that would mean they’re subject to Obamacare mandates.

The realization has some fire departments worried about their ability to continue operations.


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“I thought the kinks were worked out of Obamacare at the first of the month,” said one volunteer firefighter in central Florida to Sunshine State News. “Man, oh man, this could potentially destroy some real good companies in Florida.”

Congress could exempt them from the mandate but has yet to act, The Daily Mail reported.

“I can tell you right now we can’t afford it,” said East Derry, Pa., fire Chief Edward Mann to The Patriot-News. “While a volunteer fire department may not have a payroll, the rest of it isn’t free. The only part that is free is the labor.”

In Pennsylvania, about 97 percent of fire departments are staffed by volunteers, Chief Mann said in the Daily Mail.