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West Virginia State Firemen's Association

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Category: Financial

TO: West Virginia Volunteer Fire Departments

 

FROM:  W.Va. State Firemen’s Association

 

Statewide Fund-Raising Drive For VFDs

 

We would like to make you aware of an upcoming fund-raising effort and to seek your support and participation.  Starting in early September, the members of the West Virginia Beer Wholesalers Association will be spearheading a statewide fund-raising campaign in conjunction with the W.V. State Firemen’s Association. The campaign is designed to generate donations from the public and companies to help volunteer fire departments across the Mountain State.  Monies that are raised will be put into a fund so volunteer fire departments may apply for assistance with training and/or equipment needs.

 

The fund will be managed by the WVSFA, but any volunteer fire department will be eligible to apply for assistance, regardless of membership.  Funds will be provided on case-by-case basis, in order to serve as many VFDs as possible.

For more information, download and distribute the letter by clicking here.

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(WV State Capitol, Charleston WV) – April 4, 2011. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin made it official today by signing HB 3271 into law. This bill, along with the added $2.5 Million dollars to the budget will grant volunteer fire departments in West Virginia a total of $5 Million dollars toward paying increases in Worker’s Compensation Insurance Premiums.

Members of many volunteer fire departments and the State Firemen’s Association along side members of the House of Delegates and State Senate were on hand to witness the signing of HB3271 by Governor Tomblin. Without the help and support of local, county and state officials, working hand-in-hand with representatives of the West Virginia State Firemen’s Association, the passage of this bill would not have been possible. Through the leadership of the Governor’s Office and both houses of the Legislature, a last minute effort culminated into patching the gaping holes some volunteer fire departments would feel come July 1 2011 when Worker’s Compensation coverage is expected to quadruple.

Within the coming months and toward the next legislative session, representatives of the volunteer fire service expect another heated session in the legislature to transition this “patch” to a full fledged permanent fix for local fire companies. It’s a never ending battle for fire departments, on and off the fire-ground. Whether it’s battling the blazes during a house fire or battling law makers in the legislature, the volunteer fire service is inundated with obstacles.

As this current crisis is relieved, leaders in the volunteer fire service community may now focus their attention toward recruitment and retention efforts. Without acquiring new-blood in the service and by losing more and more veteran fire fighters, our numbers are steadily dwindling. Seen as a nationwide epidemic among the volunteer fire service, West Virginia is facing the same problems with retaining  veterans and recruiting new members to the service.

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If you read my article in the Boone Examiner or the Coal Valley News, you should understand what we’re up against. If the funding isn’t there, fire departments will close their doors and the result of which will be to the detriment of the citizens we serve.

As a firefighter, the death of a fire department is one of the worst things to endure.

As a citizen, the death of a fire department will hit your pockets much worse than the tax increase you would see if the department was properly funded. …The insurance fees would sky rocket on most, because other fire departments are typically too far away to give you a break on you insurance rates.

http://booneexaminer.com/the-changing-face-of-the-volunteer-fire-service-p921-1.htm

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As sent to the WV VFD Worker’s Compensation Group, the following is the recommendations by the Funding Subcommittee. These recommendations do not express the recommendations of the West Virginia State Firemen’s Association at this time.

More information should be hitting the grapevine soon.

Download the Recommendations.

/john

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If you are between the ages of 18 and 50 and your department is in good standing with the West Virginia State Fireman’s Assn., then you are eligible to participate in the Individual Membership death benefit program. All that is required is to fill out an individual membership application and submit one dollar to the Assistant Secretary and maintain a one dollar per year dues. Dues notice will be sent out to each participating department on a yearly basis. Upon death, a benefit will be paid to your designated beneficiary (currently $200).

Individual Membership Application Form

Change of Beneficiary

Death Benefit Claim Form

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The West Virginia Legislature created and runs the ‘West Virginia Crime Victims Compensation Fund. The Legislature created the program to provide appropriate financial assistance to the innocent victims of crime who have suffered personal injury or death during the commission of a crime.

The Legislature wants to be certain that firemen are aware that if they are injured in the line of work, due to a crime, such as arson, an injured fireman may qualify, for financial assistance from the Crime Victims Compensation Fund. Such financial compensation could be awarded to assist a fireman with out-of-pocket expenses not covered by insurance or workers’ compensation.  For example, an overtime work loss, that is not reimbursed under either of the aforementioned sources, may be the basis for an award.

The Legislature also wants to be certain that firemen are aware that there is a two-year statute of limitations from the date of the crime for the filing of a crime victim claim. All firemen, including volunteer firemen, are encouraged to apply to the Crime Victims Compensation Fund for assistance if any out-of-pocket loss has been or may be incurred as the result of a crime.

The Legislature encourages you to contact the legislative agency which runs the program, the Court of Claims, to discuss any questions you have about the program with the Clerk of the Court of Claims, Ms. Cheryle Hall, or her staff. Ms. Hall and her staff can be contacted at 877-562-6878 or via email at cvictims@wvlegislature.gov.

Sincerely,

Aaron Allred

Legislative Manager

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http://www.firehouse.com/topic/funding-and-grants/mutual-aid-mooch-revisited-lawrence-massachusetts

“…That’s right gang, I was railing against those thoughtless people who felt that they could balance their budgets on the back of their neighbors. Here we are again, looking at penurious political people who do not want to pay the freight to provide proper fire protection for their community….”

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