Volunteer Firemen’s Compensation Law
Sponsored by the Western States Firemen’s Association, Chief Frank Province, Camas, Wash., President, a compensation law with very liberal provisions for volunteer firemen injured in line of duty, or their widows and orphans in event of their death, becomes effective in the State of Washington, June 14, 1935. The law creates a fund in the State Treasury known as the Volunteer Firemen’s Relief and Compensation Fund, the fund to consist of fees, gifts and donations; an annual fee of two dollars to be paid by the city for each volunteer fireman, each volunteer fireman to pay an annual fee of one dollar; and ten per cent of all monies received by the state from tax on fire insurance premiums. Revenues are estimated to produce approximately $30,000 annually.
The law sets up a Board of Trustees in each city, consisting of the Mayor, City Clerk, one Councilman, the Fire Chief and one fireman elected by the firemen, with full authority to administer the law. The board is empowered to employ a physician to examine firemen entering the service and to render surgical and medical aid to volunteer firemen. Whenever any volunteer fireman shall become physically disabled as the result of his duty as a fireman by external violent means, so as to be unable to perform each and every duty of his regular occupation or business; he shall be paid from such fund the sum of $100 per month for a period of six months, and thereafter, $75 per month so long as such disability continues.
In event of his death in line of duty, his widow receives $50 per month so long as she lives and remains single, or if there be no widow, then his children receive the same until they become 18 years of age.
When hospitalization is necessary, the fund pays $20 per week for 26 weeks, and in event of death, $100 funeral expense is paid. All disbursements from the fund are made on order of the Board of Trustees by warrant on the State Treasurer. Membership of volunteer Fire Departments is limited to twenty for each one thousand of population and the benefits of the law are available to the members of any Fire Department not employing its entire membership on a full time paid basis.