The Leadership and Legislative Committee of the West Virginia State
Firemen’s Association met on Saturday March 4 2017, the primary topics of discussion dealt with the legislation currently being presented. In particular, Senate Bill 168, issues relating to the volunteer fire service worker’s compensation subsidy programs and the potential closing of the RESAs across the state.
In regards to SB 168: The WVSFA fully supports this bill and asks that
the legislature pass this legislation to assist in funding volunteer fire departments. Further, it would perhaps be in the best interest of all parties involved if SB 168 were to include a provision to set
aside those monies, currently 2.5 million dollars, to fund the on-going worker’s compensation subsidy program which would be a permanent fix to our subsidy issue.
In regards to the closing of the RESAs: As the largest fire service organization in the State, we require quality training at affordable costs for our members. If any agency were to be eliminated from providing training, we must see provisions be put in place to overcome the void that would be created.
There are many other bills pending in the legislature relating to the fire service in West Virginia. We will make a statement or contact the legislature regarding these bills on a case by case basis. If the legislators have any questions relating to these bills, please contact our lobbyist, Sam Love.
John Holstein, President