Introducing a Length of Service Award Program (LOSAP) for Maine’s Firefighters & EMS Responders
LD 1154An Act To Establish the Maine Length of Service Award Program

Why is a statewide LOSAP Important to Maine’s fire service?
Volunteer Fire & EMS departments in Maine struggle to recruit and retain qualified personnel. One proven & effective retention tool is the Length of Service Award Program (LOSAP). LOSAPs are annuity based saving programs for volunteer emergency services personnel.

LOSAP programs provide annuity based saving plans for volunteer Fire & EMS personnel who meet minimum service requirements.

Do other States have LOSAP programs & how are they organized?

Laws in at least 40 states authorize LOSAP plans and nearly 20 percent of the volunteer firefighters in America participate in some form of LOSAP. Most follow a model which involves an annual minimum of training and service hours, with financial credit given toward a LOSAP program. After receiving a minimum number of years of credit, and beginning at a specified age, the volunteer is eligible for a monthly annuity.

What LD1154 will do:
LD1154 will establish a state wide pension type program under which Maine volunteers will be paid "length of service awards" for performing qualified services. The term qualified services are defined in the bill as firefighting and prevention services, emergency medical services, and ambulance services. Under the program, volunteers will have a program account which will be credited with an annual contribution as of the end of each year during which the volunteer participated in a minimum required level of volunteer activities set forth by the Maine Length of Service Award Program Board of Trustees.

When a volunteer reaches the age of sixty, and has attained a vested status in the program (met the minimum requirements for at least five years) he or she will be paid the contributions credited to his or her program account, plus the net investment income earned on those contributions.

LD 1154 (HP 819)
"An Act To Establish the Maine Length of Service Award Program"

Sponsored by Representative Joyce Maker
Sponsors and Cosponsors Sponsored By: Representative MAKER of Calais
Cosponsored By: Representative BEAVERS of South Berwick
Representative CRAY of Palmyra
Senator DUTREMBLE of York
Representative JOHNSON of Greenville
Representative LAJOIE of Lewiston
Representative LONG of Sherman
Representative PEASE of Merrill
Representative WERTS of Auburn
Representative WOOD of Sabattus

As the 126th Maine Legislature heads into the 2nd Session, the Maine Fire Protection Services Commission (MFPSC) would like to offer information regarding the LOSAP program that has been proposed. It is our goal to provide the members of our Legislature answers that describe and define the desired LOSAP program.

When enacted, the Maine Length of Service Award Program Board of Trusteeswould clearly define eligibility requirements such as the following:

Minimum length of service to be eligible to participate, based on clear rules regarding qualified firefighters.

The local Fire Chief would have final authority on eligibility for the program after the review and certification of annual attendance, alarm response and training records, as provided for in the proposed legislation.

Five years in good standing would be defined as -meeting all training requirements and responding to at least 20% of eligible calls. (Annually certified by the local fire chief)

Members would also have to pass all physical requirements set in place by the Authority Having Jurisdiction, (AHJ). If during any year a member did not meet requirements then that year would not be counted as usable time. In addition, training must include the mandatory set forth by the Maine Bureau of Labor Standards, (MBLS)

Currently, MBLS requires minimum firefighter training and annual refresher firefighter training with demonstrated competency that consists of:

Bureau of Labor Standards Emergency Action Plan for Facility
Hazardous Materials Awareness Level - Minimum
Hazard Communications
Blood Borne Pathogens
Use of Fire Extinguishers
Training commensurate with any duties the employee is expected to perform.
(attack fire fighting, search and rescue, driver/operator, extrication, etc.)

Personal Protective Equipment

  • Hazardous Materials-Awareness, Operation, or Technician level
  • Blood borne Pathogens following the employers own written exposure control plan
  • Use of Fire Extinguishers
  • Respiratory Protection and Use of Respirators following the employers own written respiratory protection plan . (require only for employees who are expected to perform dutiesthat require the use of a respirator)

Reference: Bureau of Labor and Safety Annual Compliance which shall include: (Directive 6-03 Firefighter, EMS, and Law Enforcement required training interchange (Rev. 09/2010)

The Maine State Federation of Fire Fighters has been working on the LOSAP issue for more than 20 years. In 2008 the Fire Commission hired Ed Holohan, of Penflex, one of the most respected experts in the area of LOSAP programs to draft a bill for Maine. Maine’s current LD1154 is the result of that process. The fire service organizations within Maine are working to ensure a viable LOSAP program be created and implemented for our volunteer firefighter and EMS first responders. We ask for your support for LD1154.

For More Information on Maine’s LOSAP program contact:
William L. Vickerson
MSFFF Phone: 207-775-5200 ext.103 or
email: BillV@maine.rr.com.

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