N.Y. Vol. Fire. Ben. Law § 30

Current through 2021 NY Law Chapter 833
Section 30 - Liability for and payment of benefits

Except as otherwise provided in article five of the workers' compensation law, in section two hundred nine-i of the general municipal law and in section twenty-one of this chapter:

1. If at the time of injury the volunteer firefighter was a member of a fire company of a county, city, town, village or fire district fire department, any benefit under this chapter shall be a county, city, town, village or fire district charge, as the case may be, and any claim therefor shall be audited in the same manner as other claims against the county, city, town, village or fire district and the amount thereof shall be raised and paid in the same manner as other county, city, town, village or fire district charges.
2. If at the time of injury the volunteer firefighter was a member of a fire company incorporated under the membership corporations law, or any other law, and located in a city, village, or fire district, protected under a contract by the fire department or fire company of which the volunteer firefighter was a member, any benefit under this chapter shall be a city, village or fire district charge, as the case may be, and any claim therefor shall be audited in the same manner as other claims against the city, village or fire district and the amount thereof shall be raised and paid in the same manner as other city, village or fire district charges.
3. If at the time of injury the volunteer firefighter was a member of a fire company incorporated under the membership corporations law, or any other law, and located in a fire protection district, or fire alarm district, protected under a contract by such fire company, any benefit under this chapter shall be a town charge and any claim therefor shall be audited and paid in the same manner as town charges and the amount thereof shall be raised upon the property liable to taxation in the fire protection district or fire alarm district in the same manner as town charges therein are raised.
4. If at the time of injury the volunteer firefighter was a member of a fire company incorporated under the membership corporations law, or any other law, and located outside of a city, village, fire district, fire protection district or fire alarm district, any benefit under this chapter shall be a town charge and any claim therefor shall be audited and paid in the same manner as town charges and the amount thereof raised upon the property liable to taxation in such outside territory protected by such fire company in the same manner as town charges therein are raised.
5. If at the time of injury the volunteer firefighter was a member of a fire company or fire department operating in, or maintained jointly by two or more villages, or two or more towns, or two or more fire districts, any benefit under this chapter shall be a charge against such villages, towns or fire districts, in the proportion that the full valuation of taxable real estate in each bears to the aggregate full valuation of the taxable real estate of all such villages, towns or fire districts and the amount thereof shall be audited, raised and paid in the same manner as other village, town or fire district charges. Full valuation shall be determined by dividing the assessed valuations of taxable real estate of each such village, town or fire district as shown by the latest completed assessment roll of the village, town or fire district by the equalization rate established by the authorized state agency or officer for such roll; provided, however, in a county having a county department of assessment the full valuation in towns and fire districts shall be determined by applying the state equalization rate established for the town, or the town in which the fire district is located, to the appropriate portion of the last completed county roll.
6. The provisions of subdivisions one to five, inclusive, of this section shall not apply if the injury results from services performed when assistance is being rendered to:
a. Another city, town which has a town fire department, village or fire district, including one protected under a contract by the fire department or fire company of which the volunteer firefighter is a member,
b. A fire protection district or fire alarm district, including one protected under a contract by the fire department or fire company of which the volunteer firefighter is a member,
c. The area of a town protected by a fire company incorporated under the membership corporations law, or any other law, and located outside of a city, village, fire district, fire protection district, or fire alarm district,
d. The unorganized area of a town (outside of a city, village, fire district, fire protection district, fire alarm district, and also outside the area protected by a fire company incorporated under the membership corporations law, or any other law, and located outside of a city, village, fire district, fire protection district or fire alarm district),
e. The joint area protected by a fire company or fire department operating in, or maintained jointly by two or more villages, or two or more towns, or two or more fire districts,
f. A fire department of a county which has a fire department, or
g. A county which has requested fire aid pursuant to section two hundred nine-e of the general municipal law, pursuant to a call to furnish assistance to any such municipal corporation, district or area in cases of fire or other emergencies, or for other authorized purposes, or while going to or returning from the place where the assistance is to be or was rendered, or if death shall result from the effects of any such injury, and in any such case any such benefit shall be a charge against such aided municipal corporation, district or area and after audit shall be paid and the amount thereof shall be raised upon the property liable to taxation in such municipal corporation, district or area, in the same manner as other charges against the same are raised, except that in the cases described at paragraphs b, c and d of this subdivision, the town in which the district or area is located shall be primarily liable for such payment. If there is no property liable to taxation in any area described in paragraph d, the benefit shall be a town charge and any claim therefor shall be audited and paid in the same manner as town charges and the amount thereof shall be raised upon the taxable real property in the town in the same manner as town charges therein are raised.

In the case of a false call for assistance, any such benefit shall be audited, raised and paid in the manner provided in subdivisions one to five, inclusive, of this section, as the case may be.

The term "assistance", as used in this section, includes the services of firefighting forces, fire police squads, emergency rescue and first aid squads rendered in case of a fire or other emergency, including stand-by service, to aid (1) a fire department, fire company, or any unit thereof, other than that of which the volunteer firefighter is a member and (2) owners or occupants of property, and other persons, whether or not such owners, occupants or persons are receiving fire or other emergency service from a fire department, fire company, or any unit thereof, other than that of which the volunteer firefighter is a member.

Except as otherwise provided by law in the case of natural disaster emergencies, a call to furnish assistance may be made by any person aware of the peril involved and the need for assistance or pursuant to any legally authorized or recognized plan for the furnishing of mutual aid in cases of fire or other emergency. The call need not originate in the municipal corporation, district or area ultimately liable for benefits under this section and may be relayed through one or more persons or mediums of communication.

The provisions of this subdivision shall not apply if the injury results from services performed by the volunteer firefighter in a natural disaster emergency and he or she was serving as part of the civil defense forces activated , and when assistance is being so rendered the benefits to be paid and provided under this chapter shall be paid and provided by the political subdivisions which would be liable under subdivisions one to five, inclusive, of this section.

If death or injury results from the performance of duty by a volunteer firefighter serving as fire chief while inspecting a public or private school pursuant to paragraph c of subdivision seven of section eight hundred seven-a of the education law for fire prevention and protection purposes in a fire district, fire protection district or fire alarm district furnished fire protection pursuant to a contract by his or her fire department or fire company, or from necessary travel directly connected with any such duty, then the benefits to be paid and provided under this chapter shall be a charge against such fire district, fire protection district or fire alarm district so protected pursuant to contract and after audit shall be paid and the amount thereof shall be raised upon the property liable to taxation in any such district in the same manner as other charges against the same are raised, except that in the case of a fire protection district or fire alarm district, the town in which the district is located shall be primarily liable for such payment.

If death or injury results from the performance of duty under subdivision four of section three hundred three of the multiple residence law, or from necessary travel directly connected with any such assignment, and the building or property inspected or to be inspected is not located in the area regularly served and protected by the fire department or fire company of which the volunteer firefighter is a member, but is located in a city, town which has a fire department, village, fire district, fire protection district or fire alarm district served and protected pursuant to a contract for fire protection by the fire department or fire company of which the volunteer firefighter is a member, then the benefits to be paid and provided under this chapter shall be a charge against such political subdivision, fire protection district or fire alarm district so protected pursuant to contract and after audit shall be paid and the amount thereof shall be raised upon the property liable to taxation in such political subdivision or district in the same manner as other charges against the same are raised, except that in the case of a fire protection district or fire alarm district, the town in which the district is located shall be primarily liable for such payment.

If death or injury results from the performance of duty by a volunteer firefighter while inspecting buildings for fire hazards in a city, village, fire district, fire protection district or fire alarm district furnished fire protection pursuant to a contract by his or her fire department or fire company, or from necessary travel directly connected with any such duty, then the benefits to be paid and provided under this chapter shall be a charge against such city, village, fire district, fire protection district or fire alarm district so protected pursuant to contract and after audit shall be paid and the amount thereof shall be raised upon the property liable to taxation in any such city, village or district in the same manner as other charges against the same are raised, except that in the case of a fire protection district or fire alarm district, the town in which the district is located shall be primarily liable for such payment. This paragraph shall not be applicable in any city, however, unless a city charter or other law under which the city operates, or a local law adopted by the city, authorizes such an inspection in areas of the city receiving fire protection pursuant to a contract. The term "building," as used in this paragraph, does not include a multiple dwelling which may be inspected by such fire department or company under and pursuant to the provisions of subdivision four of section three hundred three of the multiple residence law.

The foregoing provisions of this subdivision shall apply only in cases where volunteer firefighters are injured in line of duty prior to the first day of March, nineteen hundred sixty-four; and in death cases where death results from injuries sustained prior to such date. Where volunteer firefighters are injured in line of duty on or after the first day of March, nineteen hundred sixty-four, and in death cases where death results from injuries sustained on or after such date, the liability for benefits under this chapter shall be determined pursuant to subdivisions one to five, inclusive, of this section, except as otherwise provided in article five of the workers' compensation law, section two hundred nine-i of the general municipal law and in section twenty-one of this chapter.

6-a. The provisions of subdivisions one to six, inclusive, of this section shall not apply if the injury results from services performed when general ambulance service is furnished under a fire protection contract pursuant to section two hundred nine-b of the general municipal law for (1) another city, village or fire district, protected under a contract by the fire department or fire company of which the volunteer firefighter is a member or (2) a fire protection district or fire alarm district, protected under a contract by the fire department or fire company of which the volunteer firefighter is a member, pursuant to a call to furnish such service in any such municipal corporation or district, or while going to or returning from the place where the service is to be or was furnished, or if death shall result from the effects of any such injury, and in any such case any such benefit shall be a charge against such municipal corporation or district and after audit shall be paid and the amount thereof shall be raised upon the property liable to taxation in such municipal corporation or district, in the same manner as other charges against the same are raised, except that in the case of a fire protection district or fire alarm district the town in which the district is located shall be primarily liable for such payment.

The foregoing provisions of this subdivision shall apply only in cases where volunteer firefighters are injured in line of such general ambulance service duty prior to the first day of March, nineteen hundred sixty-four, and in death cases where death results from injuries sustained prior to such date. Where volunteer firefighters are injured in line of such general ambulance service duty on or after the first day of March, nineteen hundred sixty-four, and in death cases where death results from injuries sustained on or after such date, the liability for benefits under this chapter shall be determined pursuant to subdivisions one to five, inclusive, of this section, except as otherwise provided in article five of the workers' compensation law, section two hundred nine-i of the general municipal law and section twenty-one of this chapter.

7. Any political subdivision may finance the payment of any benefits to be paid and provided under this chapter by the issuance of serial bonds or capital notes pursuant to the local finance law unless it is required by some law, other than this chapter, to pay such benefits from current funds.
8. Any political subdivision may contract for insurance indemnifying against the liability imposed by this chapter and the cost of such insurance shall be audited, raised and paid in the same manner as benefits are required to be audited, raised and paid in this section.
9. Insurance authorized to be purchased pursuant to subdivision eight of this section may be secured from the state fund or any stock corporation, mutual corporation or reciprocal insurer authorized to transact the business of workers' compensation in this state. If such insurance is not secured, the political subdivision liable shall be deemed to have elected to be a self-insurer unless it is a participant in a county plan of self-insurance or its liability for benefits under this chapter is covered by a town's participation in a county plan of self-insurance as provided in subdivision three of section sixty-three of the workers' compensation law. Every such self-insurer shall file with the chair of the workers' compensation board a notice of such election prescribed in form by such chair. For failure to file such notice within ten days after such election is made, the treasurer or other fiscal officer of such political subdivision shall be liable to pay to the chair of the workers' compensation board the sum of one hundred dollars as a penalty, to be transferred to the state treasury. A notice of election to be a self-insurer for compensation and benefits to volunteer firefighters under the provisions of the workers' compensation law and the general municipal law in effect prior to March first, nineteen hundred fifty-seven, which was filed prior to such date pursuant to the provisions of subdivision four of section fifty of the workers' compensation law as in effect prior to such date shall be deemed to be a notice of election filed under this section unless the chair of the workers' compensation board is notified to the contrary. The provisions of subdivision five of section fifty of the workers' compensation law shall be applicable to such self-insurers.
10. The governing board of a political subdivision liable for the payment of such benefits may authorize the treasurer or other fiscal officer thereof to pay the financial benefits provided for in this chapter to the person entitled thereto without waiting for an award in any case in the manner provided in section forty-nine of this chapter. The amount payable prior to an award pursuant to such authorization shall constitute a settled claim within the meaning of the local finance law.
11. A contract for fire protection, for the purposes of this section, shall be deemed in full force and effect if negotiations are pending for the renewal thereof.
12. Where a city, village, fire district or town on behalf of a fire protection district or fire alarm district is furnished service by a fire company, fire department, or any unit thereof pursuant to a contract with another city, village, fire district, or an incorporated fire company having its headquarters outside the city, village, fire district, fire protection district or fire alarm district receiving such service and the liability for benefits under this chapter in relation to volunteer firefighters rendering such service pursuant to such contract is not covered pursuant to a county self-insurance plan pursuant to section sixty-three of the workers' compensation law, such contract shall provide for payment to the city, village, fire district or town in which such incorporated fire company has its headquarters, of a sum in addition to the amount to be paid for such service pursuant to the contract, to provide for any increase in cost, or any new or added cost for insurance coverage for the liability for benefits under this chapter by reason of the service rendered pursuant to such contract, unless such additional sum has been specifically included in the contract amount for such service. Any such additional sum so paid shall not be subject to division with a volunteer fire company as otherwise provided by law in the case of contracts for such service.

N.Y. Vol. Fire. Ben. Law § 30

Amended by New York Laws 2018, ch. 476,Sec. 280, eff. 12/28/2018.