News

Do You Have Six or More Paid Firefighters? What you need to know!

February 27th, 2021
Requirements for Chiefs of Departments where that department employs six (6) or more paid fire fighters

(Does not distinguish full or part time paid, and includes both paid and volunteer chiefs)

 

Purpose: Minimum qualifications for fire chiefs subject to Civil Service Law, section 58-a and General Municipal Law, section 204-dd.

Text of proposed rule: 19 NYCRR Part 426.9(h) is amended to read as follows:

(h) For Supervisory Level V (chief of department level responsibilities) [under development.] a person shall:

  1. possess Fire Officer 3 certification, pursuant to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1021 Standard for Fire Officer Professional Qualifications, 2014 Edition, or possess the training, education, experience, or combination thereof, determined by the State Fire Administrator to meet the requirements of Civil Service Law section 58-a; and
  2. meet the minimum qualifications established by the local civil service agency having jurisdiction; and
  3. meet the core competencies for incident commander established by the State Fire Administrator, pursuant to General Municipal Law section 204-dd and 9 NYCRR Part 227. A new Part 227 is added to title 9 of the New York Code of Rules and Regulations to read as follows: Qualifications of a Fire Chief. 227.1 Authority, intent and purpose. (a) Statutory authority: General Municipal Law Section 204-dd; (b) The intent and purpose of this part is to establish minimum qualifications for a fire chief in any fire department or fire company that employs six (6) or more paid fire fighters in the State of New York. 227.2 Definitions. (a) The term “fire chief” mean the person who is head of the department or any title or rank that includes the duties of fire chief in any fire department or fire company with six (6) or more paid fire fighters. (b) The term “fire fighter” means a member of a fire department whose duties include fire service as the phrase fire service is defined in paragraph d of subdivision eleven of section three hundred two of the retirement and social security law.

227.3 Qualifications of a fire chief

(a) To eligible for appointment or election as a fire chief he or she must meet the core competencies for incident commander established by the State Fire Administrator.

(b) The Office of Fire Prevention and Control shall post and keep current the core competencies for incident commander on its official website.

Text of proposed rule and any required statements and analyses may be obtained from: Kenneth Bruno, Deputy Counsel, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, 1220 Washington Avenue, Building 7A, Albany, New York 12242, (518) 242-5000, email: Kenneth.Bruno@dhses.ny.gov Data, views or arguments may be submitted to: Same as above. Public comment will be received until: 60 days after publication of this notice.

 

According to the Best Practices, Incident Commander core competency qualifications can be met by taking the following:

NYS Office of Fire Prevention and Control

  1. Fire Officer I (2009) (Competencies 1 – 20 and 22) and ICS-200 (Competency 21)

Web Link Here: http://www.dhses.ny.gov/ofpc/training/firefighting-best-practices.cfm

Communicable Disease Plan Components to comply with NYS-DOL Section 27-c Requirements

January 19th, 2021

Open this document and use as a guidance document for your Communicable Disease response and continuity of operations plan as required of all public employers by the recent addition of Section 27-c  of Labor Law.

COMMUNICABLE DISEASE PLAN COMPONENTS

LINK TO DOL SECTION 27-C CHAPTER AMENDMENTS
http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/navigate.cgi?NVDTO:

The LGS-1 Replaces the Current Records Management Schedule

January 19th, 2021

State Secretary/Treasurer Joyce Petkus has provided us with the new LGS-1 records management schedule with section headings particularly for Fire Districts.  Also is a model resolution to be adopted by the Board prior to using the new schedule.  This should be a great help to the records retention managers for each fire district.

Organized by Item
https://afdca.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/LGS-1-Featureing-FDs-item-list.pdf

Organized by Section Headings
https://afdca.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/LGS-1-excerpt-for-Fire-Districts_organized-by-section-headings.pdf
Model Resolution
https://afdca.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/lgs-1_model_resolution_form.pdf

Fire Districts had until January 1 2021 to adopt the new schedule by resolution of the Board, don’t use the new schedule until it is officially adopted.

NYSVFB Cancer Coverage Offered to Exterior Firefighters

January 19th, 2021

The definition of Eligible Volunteer Firefighter has been amended to:

  1. a volunteer interior firefighter who:
  2. has five or more years of faithful and actual service in the protection of life and property from fire subsequent to having successfully passed a physical examination which failed to reveal any evidence of Cancer; and
  3. has submitted or is able to submit proof of five years of interior firefighting service by providing verification that he/she has passed at least five yearly certified mask fitting tests as set forth in 29 CFR 1910.134 or the applicable National Fire Protection Association Standards for Mask Fit testing or, for firefighters who entered fire service prior to January first, two thousand twenty documentation identified by the office of fire prevention and control in rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to subdivision seven of this section which shall include, but not be limited to, training or certification records, health care provider records, internal fire department records, or any combination of official documents capable of evidencing that the firefighter meets the afore mentioned requirements

NEW: Exterior Firefighter Definition

  1. a volunteer exterior firefighter who has five or more years of faithful and actual service in the protection of life and property from fire subsequent to having successfully passed a physical examination which failed to reveal any evidence of Cancer.

This definition does not include any firefighter who is provided paid firefighter benefits under the New York State Volunteer Firefighter Enhanced Cancer Disability Benefits Act.

The Coverages are here, copy and Paste into your browser:

https://afdca.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Interior-Exterior-FF-Coverage-NY.pdf

 

Fire District – LGS-1 Records Retention Schedule

December 16th, 2020

We want to thank Secretary/Treasurer Joyce Petkus for sharing the new LGS-1 records management schedule especially for fire districts with us.  Attached below are two different formats of the same document one by item the other by section headings.  The LGS-1 is to be adopted by the Board of Fire Commissioners by January 1.  Also attached is a model resolution.

LGS-1 Featureing FDs item list

LGS-1 excerpt for Fire Districts_organized by section headings

lgs-1_model_resolution_form

 

Reminder for the Enhanced Cancer Benefit Program – Documents Due

December 4th, 2020

Click on this link to open the document:

Vol FF Enhanced Cancer Benefit Program 12_3_20 TDG

The 2021 Officers of the Capital Area Association

November 24th, 2020

Association of Fire Districts of the Capital Area 2021 Officers

President:                Tom Rinaldi, Commissioner Stillwater/Saratoga

1st VP:                      Jill Wiseman, Commissioner West Glenville/Schenectady

2nd VP:                     John Meehan, Commissioner West Crescent/Saratoga

All Directors have been nominated to retain their positions for another term:

Directors: Les Bonesteel Commissioner Burnt Hills/Saratoga, Tom Wood Commissioner Northumberland/Saratoga, Joyce Petkus Treasurer Greenfield/Saratoga, Ed Woehrle Commissioner Niskayuna #1/Schenectady and Mike Podolec Commissioner West Glenville/Schenectady

Secretary Treasurer    Tony Hill

Sargent at Arms     Tom Woods, Commissioner Northumberland Fire District/Saratoga County

Chaplain     Fred Richards, Commissioner Harmony Corners/Saratoga County

Legislation Suggested by Commissioner Signed by the Governor

November 24th, 2020

Audit Bill Signed, Suggested by Commissioner Truman Williams of the Trenton Joint Fire District in Oneida Co.

The Audit limit bill introduced this legislative session has been signed by the governor. This is effective immediately. So if you are over $300,000 for 2020 you will not have to have an audit in 2021 or any year after that as long as you stay under $400,000. Thank you to Assemblyman Smulle for his initial meeting and Poland Fire Districts; Bill Inman for writing up the case study. Thank you, Assemblywomen Buttenshoen and Senator Joe Griffo for their assistance with this. A huge shout out to Past President of Fire Districts Tom Rinaldi and the Fire District lobbyist Todd Vandervort for pushing this across the finish line.

What is the Civil Service Status of a Secretary to the Fire District??

September 20th, 2020

Section 35 of the Civil Service Law provides in relevant part, as follows:

“The unclassified service shall comprise the following:

(c) all officers and employees of the state legislature, and all officers and employees of any other legislative body whose principal functions and duties are directly related to the performance of the legislative functions of such body.”

Under this standard, if fire district boards of commissioners are considered legislative bodies, the fire district secretary, as a fire district officer whose principal duties relate closely to the commissioners’ functions, would fall within the unclassified service.  The question then becomes whether the board of fire commissioners is to be considered a legislative body for purposes of the Civil Service Law.

It is well established that the unclassified service is not limited to employees of the State Legislature, but includes employees of the legislative bodies of civil subdivisions of the State and Fire districts are considered political subdivisions of the State.  Fire Districts fall under the category of “district corporation” which is defined in the following way:

A ‘district corporation’ includes any territorial division of the state, other than a municipal corporation, heretofore or hereafter established by law which possesses the power to contract indebtedness and levy taxes or benefit assessments upon real estate or to require the levy of such taxes or assessments, whether or not such territorial division is expressly declared to be a body corporate and politic by the statute creating or authorizing the creation of such territorial division.

Fire district commissioners are elected by residents of the fire district pursuant to section 175 of the Town Law. The powers and duties of a fire district fire commissioners are set forth in section 176 of the Town Law. Among these is the power to organize, operate, maintain and equip fire companies; to adopt rules governing all fire companies and fire departments throughout the district, and prescribing the duties of the members; to enforce discipline and provide for public drills, parades, funerals, inspections and reviews of the fire district fire department; and to audit all claims against the fire district.  Thus, the commissioners are the sole governing body of the fire district, responsible for the determination of fire department policy. They exercise their powers separately and discretely from the town board. In our opinion, these functions make the board of fire commissioners a legislative body for purposes of section 35 of the Civil Service Law.

The fire district secretary actively participates in the commissioner’s legislative functions, thus in the opinion of the NYS Attorney General, the secretary’s principal functions and duties relate to the legislative functions of the commissioners, placing the secretary in the unclassified service within the meaning of section 35 of the Civil Service Law.

Accordingly, we conclude that fire district secretary is a member of the unclassified civil service.

Looking for Members to Return

June 21st, 2020
  • The Capital Area can appreciate that it has been a very distracting year and we would like to remind some of our usual members that their dues have not been sent in yet; East Glenville #3, Elsmere, Glenville #5, Halfmoon FD #1, Hoosic Falls Joint Fire Dist., Perth, & Rotterdam #6.  We would like to see you join for 2020.

Cleaning and Disinfecting 3M Scott Facepieces

March 27th, 2020

See the information provided by Scott:  CleaningandDisinfectingScott

Will VFBL Cover a COVID19 Exposure?

March 13th, 2020
  • In addition to other sources the Saratoga County self-insurance program; VFBL and VAWBL will be covering confirmed (“documented”) covid19 exposures, all claims should be thoroughly investigated and documented.  The issue of indemnity payments for individuals quarantined is an interesting one. They further stated that if the quarantined period is directed by the employer without confirmation that the virus is present or if the virus is present the exposure will need to be confirmed to determine compensability.  That issue will require further investigation. 
  • Check with your provider!!