Special discounts for paramedics and EMTs

Deals for responders range from mobile phone service discounts to homeowner incentive programs

A variety of stores, shops and merchants offer special discounts to firefighters, EMTs and medics and other first responders in order to say ‘thank you’ for their service.

Special deals for responders range from mobile phone service discounts to homeowner incentive programs. The only requirement for most discounts is proof of employment by showing an active and valid ID.

Here are a handful of discounts available nationwide — share any you've heard about in the member comments.

Oakley — Sunglasses, Goggles and Apparel:
The Oakley Military and Government Sales program offers up to 50 percent off its eyewear, apparel and other gear for fire department and EMS personnel with an active and valid ID. The Stand Issue Line is designed exclusively for government customers and is not available in retail stores.

Housing and Urban Development Good Neighbor Next Door:
Firefighters and medics can contribute to community revitalization while becoming homeowners through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Good Neighbor Next Door sales program. HUD offers a 50 percent discount from the list price of the home. The only requirement is that you must live in the property for at least 36 months as your sole residence.

Wireless discounts:
Major wireless providers, including Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, offer discounts for firefighters and responders. If you have a valid ID, you can fill out the appropriate paperwork and receive a percentage off your bill. To learn more about these discounts and to find out if you qualify, visit their respective sites.

Travel discounts:
From time to time, one or more cruise lines will offer special discounts on select sailings to those who are active, retired or volunteer firefighters. Firefighters must present a copy of their official ID and a driver's license at the time of booking to qualify for the special rates.

Under Armour Sports Clothing, Athletic Shoes and Accessories:
Under Armour offers a 10 percent discount for firefighters on all of their products purchased at any Under Armour retail outlet. Valid ID has to be presented at the time of purchase. This discount, however, does not work with orders placed online.

Firefighter and EMS discounts are often given by sporting goods stores like Cabela's at certain times of the year. Check ads and bulletins to take advantage of saving money on equipment and gear.

While searching for any type of discount online, you must be aware of the differences between local and national ones. Some local merchants may offer discounts in one state and not in another.

Also, if a discount is offered, be sure you know your department's policy on accepting such gifts — no discount is worth losing your job.

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