(Nov. 13, 2020) The Worcester County Commissioners agreed to grant a one-time variance for the Length of Service Award Program for the county fire companies during their meeting last Tuesday.
The program was created in 2000 to help increase firefighter recruitment and retention through a monetary award system based on the length of the volunteer’s active service.
However, County Commissioner Joseph Mitrecic said he received a phone call from the Berlin Fire Company about how covid-19 restrictions are hampering its ability to meet the 50 credits to qualify.
“A lot of these companies aren’t having drills, they aren’t having meetings, they aren’t having those type of things which all count toward their credits,” Mitrecic said. “I would like the county to look into granting an exception this year, that they don’t have to make the 50 credits in order to remain active in the LOSAP.”
The motion to grant a one-time variance passed unanimously. Commissioners will also send a letter to the state supporting the same initiative.
With increased benefits this year, volunteers must complete 25 years of active service receive a $10,000 award. New volunteers can now receive a one-time $2,500 retention bonus after five years of active service.