The Howard County Vol. Fireman’s Assc. announced that County Executive Ball has introduced legislation to be able to give county volunteer association members credible LOSAP years of service as a result of a declared state of emergency. This is a huge win for the volunteer fire service and is comparable to when Executive Ball issued bonuses to Local 2000 members at the start of the Covid 19 pandemic. The membership would like to thank the County Volunteer Fireman’s Association for their hard work on this. The official press release from Howard County is below.
August 27, 2020
Scott Peterson, Director of Communications, Office of Public Information, 202-277-9412
County Executive to Award Length Of Service Points to Volunteer Firefighters and EMS Personnel in Response to COVID-19 State Of Emergency
ELLICOTT CITY, MD – County Executive Calvin Ball will award Length of Service points to volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel who are working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 emergency response. The Length of Service Award Program (LOSAP), is a county-funded program which provides retirement benefits to volunteer firefighters and emergency medical services providers. A bill, scheduled for pre-file today, will authorize County Executive Ball to award points for active volunteer service, by Executive Order only, in response to a state of emergency as declared by federal, state, or local government.
“Our volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel are hardworking and dedicated individuals who have faced the frontlines of the COVID-19 public emergency,” said Ball. “We deeply appreciate the many volunteers who continue to support our Department of Fire and Rescue Services and are pleased to provide these benefits to our volunteer members who we rely on for a safe and engaged community.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the Department of Fire and Rescue in many facets,” said Fire Chief William Anuszewski. “The County Executive recognizes the impact this pandemic has had on the volunteer system and the ability for a volunteer to earn LOSAP points. This legislative change will help lessen the impact for the volunteer membership.”
To receive credit for a year of active service, a volunteer must have accumulated at least 50 creditable points during the calendar year. Points are awarded for training courses, drills, elected or appointed positions, attendance at meetings, emergency responses, military service, and those with a permanent disability. This new legislature will allow the County Executive to add points by Executive Order.
“Our members have expressed concern with obtaining their annual points due to the reduced fundraising activities and operational support the pandemic has caused,” said Howard County Volunteer Firefighters Association President Raymond Wines. “Our personnel remain committed to volunteer but need to take every precaution in keeping their families healthy. We all strive to accumulate the appropriate points, but these times are challenging. I, personally, thank Executive Ball for his consideration on this matter.”
“We are most appreciative of County Executive Ball’s action to recognize the contribution of our dedicated volunteer emergency service providers,” said Fifth District Volunteer Fire Chief F. Patrick Marlatt. “Our operational and administrative volunteers remain committed to serving Howard County during a declared state of emergency.”
“It’s a pleasure knowing our County Executive understands the value in our volunteers,” said West Friendship Volunteer Fire Chief Mark Miller. “Although many of or volunteers remain operational, any assistance to our members is appreciated.”
“When our community needs help, we still answer the call,” said Lisbon Volunteer Fire Chief Carey McIntosh. “A large portion of our volunteers support our operational members through events and fundraisers, which have halted during this health crisis. County Executive Ball acknowledges this, and his action displays commitment to our volunteers.”
“Elkridge is a community with a strong volunteer presence and our fire department is the heart of it,” said Elkridge Volunteer Fire Chief Russell Pryor. “We applaud County Executive Ball’s gesture to recognize that not all members can remain operational during a pandemic but still support the community they live in.”
“As Chief of Savage Volunteer Fire Company, I am in support of the County Executive to award points to the volunteer members of the County under LOSAP,” said Savage Volunteer Fire Chief Ron Hunley. “The pandemic has affected everyone. As volunteers, we have careers and families outside the firehouse and it would be a true financial burden if any of us would become infected. Many of our volunteers have spent countless hours at the firehouse running calls and training. We love what we do and it’s hard for us to not come to the firehouse and support our community. This act proves the County Executive is willing to show his support for the volunteer system.”
Office of Public Information
Howard County Government
3430 Court House Drive
Ellicott City MD 21043