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Fire Chief Darrel Fournier speaks to a reporter in Freeport, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Jan. 13 (Bloomberg) — U.S. cities and towns won’t be required to provide health insurance for volunteer firefighters, a reprieve from federal Obamacare rules that fire departments had said would be financially devastating.

Volunteer emergency workers will be made exempt from a requirement that employers with more than 50 workers provide health coverage to those putting in at least 30 hours a week, the U.S. Treasury Department said in a Jan. 10 blog post. That employer mandate, which takes effect in 2015, was part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

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