Section 217 of Article 11-A of the NYS General Municipal Law sets forth the point system rules for LOSAP in New York State. All volunteer firefighter LOSAP point systems in the state which are established in accordance with Article 11-A must comply with Section 217.
One of the categories of volunteer firefighter activities set forth in Section 217 is ‘Participation in Department Responses.’ Within this point system category, there are two categories of calls: ‘emergency rescue and first aid squad calls (ambulance calls)’ and ‘all calls other than emergency rescue and first aid squad calls (ambulance calls).’ If a volunteer responds to the minimum percentage set forth in Section 217 of either of these categories of calls, the volunteer receives 25 points. If the volunteer responds to the minimum percentages of both categories, the volunteer receives 50 points.
Our new Governor, Kathy Hochul, recently signed Senate Bill 1210 into law. Bill 1210 recognized that governing boards of municipalities that sponsor a volunteer firefighter LOSAP may restrict which active volunteer firefighters may respond to ‘emergency rescue and first aid squad calls (ambulance calls).’ This new law allows the sponsor’s governing board to adopt a resolution to establish separate subcategories of calls to which volunteers in these restricted groups may respond. If a volunteer in one of the restricted groups responds to the minimum percentage of calls for the year for his or her group, then that volunteer receives 25 points.
The governing board may amend the Participation in Department Responses section of their point system to establish separate subcategories of calls by adopting a resolution with at least 60% of the governing board members approving the resolution. No election is required because the mandatory referendum requirement is waived. Unless the resolution is adopted in response to a State Disaster Emergency, this amendment to the point system must be prospectively effective as of the next January 1 following the date the resolution is adopted by the LOSAP sponsor’s governing board.