The majority of the information below is only applicable to New York State volunteer fire department LOSAPs. If you are seeking information from a state other than New York be aware that the laws, rules, and regulations discussed below may not be relevant. For more information feel free to contact our team via phone or email.
To put it simply, a LOSAP is a plan that provides payment to an individual who performs certain qualified services. Those qualified services include firefighting and fire prevention services, emergency medical services, and ambulance services. Most LOSAPs are designed like simple retirement plans, where the benefits become payable at a certain age, but a LOSAP could also be designed to pay benefits after a certain length of time, regardless of age.
The parameters of LOSAP in New York are found in the General Municipal Law. There are four Articles in the General Municipal Law that address LOSAP:
Programs adopted in accordance with Article 11-AA and Article 11-AAA are run by the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC). The OSC then contracts with firms to provide the necessary services. Since Firefly is not one of those firms, those programs will not be addressed. However, you can still contact our team regarding this matter and we’ll direct you to someone who can help.
There have been no programs adopted in accordance with Article 11-AAAA. The Firefly team is working diligently to change that! Contact us for more details about how you can adopt a Supplemental LOSAP for your fire department.
A LOSAP sponsor is the agency that adopts and is responsible for the administration of the program. In New York State a “sponsor” or “sponsoring agency” refers to a political subdivision such as the following:
Fire District on behalf of the volunteer fire company/department serving the Fire District Village on behalf of the village-operated volunteer fire department City on behalf of the city-operated volunteer fire department Town on behalf of a fire department/company that contracts with the town to provide fire protection services for a fire protection district in the town.
There is a special situation here in NY where an independent fire company (a fire company not under the control of a fire district, village or city) may contract with more than one municipality. In this case, all of the municipalities that contract to receive fire protection services with that fire company must join together to co-sponsor the LOSAP.
The political subdivision (sponsor) must first adopt a resolution establishing a program, subject to additional approval of the voting residents of that political subdivision in a mandatory public referendum.
Generally, only volunteer firefighters who have a duty to respond to calls/emergencies can participate in a LOSAP in New York State. Ladies auxiliary members, social-only members, or life-only members are not usually eligible to participate. Furthermore, a sponsor and fire department should consider carefully if “Class D” or “Administrative Only” members should be eligible to participate.
A volunteer must earn 50 points in a calendar year under the point system. Each sponsor must adopt a point system based on the parameters in Article 11-A. A sponsor cannot change the 50-point requirement, nor can a volunteer earn a larger benefit for earning more than 50 points.