1. #1
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    Default A good year for firefighters in the Alabama Legislature

    I know this thread doesn't apply to 99% of you guys, but since nobody visits the Alabama state forum and the information is important to my state brethern I posted it here. Alabama firefighters, particularly volunteers, had a very good year in the legislature. Here are the FF-related bills that passed and have been signed by the Governor:
    ____________________

    House Bill 447: increases survivor benefits from $50,000 to $100,000

    This is the LODD benefit paid by the state.

    House Joint Resolution 380: names House Bill 447 the “Lloyd McCullough and Dustin Jones Act” in honor of two Moulton firefighters who died on duty in February 2006

    House Bill 209: allows for the implementation of a distinctive firefighter tag

    This one's title is a little misleading. It is the same tag but you can provide proof if your name isn't on the statewide list of firefighters. In the past, this list was updated once a year. Miss the update, and you were out of luck until next year.

    House Bill 247: adds volunteer firefighters to the law that makes it a criminal offense to interfere with firefighters who are in the performance of their duties

    The old law did not specifically include volunteer firefighters. The change leaves no doubt.

    House Bill 323: exempts death benefit payments received by beneficiaries of peace officers or firefighters killed in the line of duty from State income tax

    House Bill 408: provides that insurance companies will not base automobile insurance rates of law enforcement officers or firefighters upon accidents while in the performance of their duties

    I didn't even know this one was an issue for firefighters. I'm sure it will be a help to LE

    House Bill 409: adds death and disability payments for heart attacks and strokes caused by participating in emergency situations

    Again, like HB447, this is the state LODD benefit

    House Bill 413: expands the crime of murder to include the death of a firefighter or other public safety officer who dies while performing his or her duties as the consequence of the crime of arson

    This one has been a long time coming...

    House Bill 437: prohibits an employer from terminating an employee who is a volunteer firefighter or emergency medical service provider who responds to an official emergency call which results in the loss of work

    Obviously, this one is the biggie and one I never thought I would see passed. Alabama volunteers now have job protection if they're late for work as a result of responding to a call.
    Last edited by EFD840; 04-18-2006 at 02:19 PM.

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    Wow, I am amazed to see 437 pass as well. Good to see it though, luckily my company is very understanding.

    On a side note, we do need to get some more traffic in our state section.

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    Fantastic, buddy. We have similar laws to some of those here in KY. And it was good to post them here because it might inspire FF's in other states to approach their legislators about the same issues.

    Roll Tide!
    “I am more than just a serious basketball fan. I am a life-long addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.”
    ― Hunter S. Thompson

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    Well done you Guys! Sadly until I take a civilian job, I will be exempt from the auspices of Bill 437.

    Sometimes being an Army Geek does have it's downfalls.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

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    While it may not apply directly to those of us outside of AL, it never hurts to know what's going on in any governing body. Thanks for the info. And..for the reminder to check the Indiana Forum every day--that's the only way those will ever get traffic!!
    earl

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    EFD840,
    Not to dispute you but I believe Gov. Riley stated that bill 437 was designed to protect you in cases where you may be late for work because you responded on an emergency call, I may be wrong but I do not believe that you can just pick up and leave work to respond. This may need more research. All together it was a good day for both paid and volunteer firefighters in the state of Alabama.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnfd86
    EFD840,
    Not to dispute you but I believe Gov. Riley stated that bill 437 was designed to protect you in cases where you may be late for work because you responded on an emergency call, I may be wrong but I do not believe that you can just pick up and leave work to respond. This may need more research. All together it was a good day for both paid and volunteer firefighters in the state of Alabama.
    You're exactly right, but I didn't say any differently. In my initial post, the text with the bill descriptions is a verbatum copy and past from the Governor's press release. The text in italics are my comments, where I said in regard to 437: Alabama volunteers now have job protection if they're late for work as a result of responding to a call.

    You can go to the legislature's website www.legislature.state.al.us and look up the bill to see the actual text. For the most part, it is exactly as appears. There are a couple of potential gotchas. The first is that the volunteer has a duty to attempt to notify the employer so make that cell call. The second is that the text says unpaid volunteer. The courts will likely have to decide where that puts the POC departments that get $5 a run.

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    Just a thought, but isn't that a load of BS to make distinction between fully NOT paid volunteers, and those that are POC?
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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    Malahat, is it a load of BS? Yes.

    Does that mean that it will not be a potential issue? No.

    Here's the text defining who is protected straight from Section 1 of the act:

    VOLUNTEER EMERGENCY WORKER. An individual who does not receive monetary compensation for his or her service as a volunteer firefighter, emergency medical technician, rescue squad member, volunteer deputy, or a ham radio operator conducting storm spotter operations for an emergency
    management association.


    For the most part POC is considered volunteer, but if I were POC I would be a little nervous should I be the plaintiff in the first court test.

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    Smile Plowboyfireman

    Hey guys great job, I was really surprised that they would pass 437, but thats wonderful. Great job!

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