Governor Reeves passes bill to give volunteer firefighters retirement pay
MISSISSIPPI (WCBI) – Volunteer firefighters in Mississippi may have something to look forward to.
Governor Tate Reeves has signed a Bill that will reward volunteer firefighters for their hard work.
The word volunteer usually means you aren’t getting paid for your work, but volunteer firefighters in Mississippi may soon be putting away a few dollars for their service.
And volunteer chiefs are hoping it will mean some extra recruits for their departments.
“As we got out of the summer last year there were some representatives that contacted the Mississippi Fire Chiefs Association Brad Smith the State fire Coordinator said we want to do something for the volunteer firefighters in the State of Mississippi and we are thinking about maybe trying to establish a reward program for staying a volunteer fire coordinator for a long time,” said Terry Tucker, First Vice President Mississippi Fire Association.
This week Reeves signed House Bill 521, creating the Mississippi Length of Service Program.
This program will allow Volunteer Firefighters to make money based on their length of service with their departments.
Reeves believes this bill will be an incentive for recruiting and retaining firefighters.
Terry Tucker serves as the First Vice President of The Mississippi Fire Association.
Tucker said the plan will allow firefighters to be rewarded up to $500 a year for their service to their neighbors.
“I think it will show them some recognition most of them serve cause they got some pride in the community and some want to be a part of the community. This will give them something to say thank you for being a part of and helping the community and being of service and paying them back. it may be years before they see it but it will be something to look forward to instead of n0t really anything,” said Tucker.
Tucker said he is hoping this bill will also bring more volunteers through the doors soon.
“The numbers are down and people aren’t volunteering like they used to. I’m not sure why but I think that’s the reason to give them some type of incentive to be a volunteer fireman because the numbers are down,” said Tucker.
This money that volunteers receive can add up over time and will be accessed after retirement.
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