2017 New Jersey Revised Statutes
TITLE 40A - MUNICIPALITIES AND COUNTIES
Section 40A:14-188 - Provision of length of service award program not required; program requirements

40A:14-188. Provision of length of service award program not required; program requirements

6. No emergency service organization shall be required to provide a length of service award for its active volunteer members pursuant to the provisions of this act. Any length of service award provided to an active volunteer member shall be governed by the provisions of this act. No length of service award program shall be provided under the provisions of this act unless the following requirements are met:

a. An active volunteer member shall be eligible to participate in a length of service award program immediately upon the commencement of the active volunteer member's performance of active emergency services in any emergency service organization, and shall be eligible to vest in any length of service award program provided under the provisions of this act if the active volunteer member has completed at least five years of emergency service in any emergency service organization in the State

b. Under a length of service award program, a year of active emergency service commencing after the establishment of the program shall be credited for each calendar year in which an active volunteer member accumulates a number of points that are granted in accordance with a schedule adopted by the sponsoring agency. The program shall provide that points shall be granted for activities designated by the sponsoring agency, which activities may include the following:

(1) Training courses;

(2) Drills;

(3) Sleep-in or standby. A "standby" means line of duty activity of the volunteer fire company, lasting for four hours, not falling under one of the other categories;

(4) Completion of a one-year elected or appointed position in the organization;

(5) Election as a delegate to an emergency service convention;

(6) Attendance at official meetings of the sponsoring agency;

(7) Participation in emergency responses; or

(8) Miscellaneous activities including participation in inspections and other non-emergency fire, first aid or rescue activities not otherwise listed.

c. If provided for in the enabling ordinance or resolution adopted pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1997, c.388 (C.40A:14-185), a length of service award program may provide for the crediting of not more than 10 years of active emergency service periods prior to the establishment of such a program. Such credit may be granted to the active volunteer over as many years as deemed appropriate by the sponsoring agency, except that the total amount contributed in any one year shall not exceed the maximum amount allowed by law to be contributed by a sponsoring agency.

d. To provide credit for service prior to the establishment of the service award program, pursuant to subsection c. of this section, each sponsoring agency shall review the prior membership rosters of the emergency service organizations subject to the program to determine the number of years' credit for each participant who is entitled to credit. In making the analysis, the standards for active service set forth in subsection b. of this section and adopted by the sponsoring agency shall be used. The amount of the contribution provided to participants for past service may differ from the amount of the current contribution provided for under the plan. The definition of years of active emergency service shall be determined by the bylaws of the participating emergency service organization at the time service was earned. Approval for such prior service shall require certification by the duly designated persons, as determined and defined by the sponsoring agency of the participating emergency service organization. If an active volunteer member requests credit for service in more than one volunteer participating emergency service organization, each such emergency service organization shall provide a certification for the appropriate number of years. That credit may be awarded at the discretion of the sponsoring agency of the plan in which the volunteer member seeks to apply the credit. In no event, however, shall a participant be credited for the same year of active emergency service in more than one service award program.

e. (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2001, c.272).

f. An active volunteer member whose name does not appear on the approved certification list or who is denied credit for service prior to the establishment of the service award program may appeal within 30 days of posting of the list or within 30 days of denial of past service credit. The appeal shall be in writing and mailed to the clerk or secretary of the governing body of that local government unit, which shall investigate the appeal. The decision of a participating emergency service organization shall be subject to appropriate judicial review.

L.1997,c.388,s.6; amended 2001, c.272, s.1.

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