Senator Mike Cunningham – Help Coming to Volunteer Firefighters

Cunningham - Press Release Banner- 010413

JEFFERSON CITY — A Senate bill that would expand workers’ compensation agreements for volunteer firefighters across the state is currently on the governor’s desk awaiting approval. Senate Bill 613, introduced by Senator Mike Cunningham, R-Rogersville, would permit volunteer fire protection associations to apply to the state fire marshal for grants to fund insurance premiums for the association’s volunteers.

“This legislation will help provide much-needed support for the brave men and women who put their lives at risk for the safety of our communities, families and neighbors. These fire associations have been financially strapped in past years, and desperately need this help to provide for their volunteers.” Sen. Cunningham said. “I would like to thank Senator Kurt Schaefer [R-Columbia] for co-sponsoring SB 613 with me in the Senate, and for Representative Robert Ross [R-Yukon] for helping with the bill in the House. I’m confident the governor will see the potential positive effects, and will sign this legislation into law to help our volunteer firefighters.”

Under SB 613, workers’ compensation grants would be disbursed by the state fire marshal based on the number of volunteer firefighters who received compensation for accidents that occurred during the course of duty in the previous year. Following is a breakdown of Missouri volunteer departments’ eligibility and potential funding amounts:

  • Associations that had 0-5 claims shall be eligible for $2,000;
  • Associations that had 6-10 claims shall be eligible for $1,500;
  • Associations that had 11-15 claims shall be eligible for $1,000; and
  • Associations that had 16-20 claims shall be eligible for $500.

“Volunteer firefighters routinely put themselves in harm’s way in the name of the greater good,” Sen. Cunningham said. “The state of Missouri needs to ensure they are being taken care of when accidents happen as a result of their bravery.”

To voice support for the passage of SB 613, contact the governor’s office at (573) 751-3222.