Mississippi State Fire Academy Executive Director Terry Wages and Mississippi Firefighter’s Association President John Pope spent the majority of their day Thursday with the MS House of Representatives discussing HB 521, where it has been approved and sent to the Senate.
The Length of Service Award Program (LOSAP) is set to provide Volunteer Firefighters with retirement benefits up to $750 per year, to be paid out in a lump sum after 20 years of service.
“We’re about 40% of the way there, but we are making great strides to support and award our volunteer brothers and sisters,” said Pope.
HB 521 was introduced to the MS Legislature this session, passed through the Insurance and Appropriations Committees last Tuesday.
“The Volunteer Firefighters are an integral part of the Fire Service in our communities and it’s necessary to make sure they are taken care of,” said Wages.
This bill does have a repeater on it and will need to go back to the House after the Senate and finally could be signed into law by the Governor after that.
State Fire Marshal and Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney is pleased with LOSAP’s progress adding, “This is a good step toward retention of volunteer firefighters and making sure they’re taken care of after years of selfless service.”