[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the Town of Boonton 7-1-2002 by Ord. No. 13-2002. Amendments noted where applicable.]
A Length of Service Awards Program (LOSAP) is hereby created in accordance with Chapter 388 of the Laws of 1997 to reward members of the Volunteer Fire Department for their loyal, diligent, and devoted services to the residents of the Town of Boonton.
The LOSAP shall provide for fixed annual contributions to a deferred income account for each volunteer member that meets the criteria set forth below. Such contributions shall be made in accordance with a plan that shall be established by the Town of Boonton pursuant to P.L. 1997, c.388; and such plan shall be administered in accordance with the laws of the State of New Jersey, the United States Internal Revenue Code, and this chapter.
The LOSAP shall provide for annual contributions to each eligible member that meets the criteria as follows:
For the purpose of rewarding length of service intentions of this program, the membership of the Boonton Fire Department shall be divided into two categories: active and post-active.
To reward the previous and continued involvement with the Department of the post-active members, a monetary sum equal to 30% of the maximum benefit shall be awarded through this program, provided the post-active member remains active in the Department. The minimum benefit of the program is 30% of the maximum. A post-active member would need point accrual, as defined below, of 50 to be eligible for the disbursement. For each 10 points over the minimum 50 a post-active may gain, his disbursement increases 5% of the maximum.
A post-active member does not need to meet the 30% alarm response of an active member to benefit from this program. If a post-active member meets the 30% alarm response quota of an active member, the benefit calculation would be that of an active member.
Members with less than 25 years of service are considered active and shall follow the point system as described in the following sections. To encourage these members to continue their involvement in the core responsibilities of the Department, an active member needs to meet a minimum of 30% of alarms to be eligible for any benefit of the LOSAP program.
New recruits in the Department need to serve a probationary period of one year before they can benefit from this program.
Members of the Volunteer Fire Department, who meet the service and activity requirements of this plan during the 2002 calendar year, shall receive the maximum awards for time served. This award shall be disbursed in equal installments, over the first five years of the plan.
The estimated cost of the program has been calculated as follows:
The maximum annual contribution an individual can receive will be set at the maximum amount allowed in accordance with Chapter 388 of the Laws of 1997, including increases approved by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, which are based upon the consumer price index. Currently, the maximum an individual can receive is $1,235.
Each active volunteer member shall be credited with points for volunteer services provided to the Volunteer Fire Department in accordance with the following schedule:
The LOSAP point system is broken down into six categories with 100 points required of active members for maximum benefits.
Fire Department responses: 50 points maximum.
This includes all normally dispatched fire calls, standbys, searches, police assists, pump-outs or mutual-aid requests. A response will be Department-wide regardless of apparatus and company assignments. For example, a member of Maxfield Hook and Ladder would get credit if he or she responds to a single alarm even though his or her apparatus is not assigned.
For a member to achieve 50 points, it will be based on his or her alarm response percentage. For example: 1% equals one point. If a member answers 50% of all Department alarms, he or she will be awarded 50 points. If a member answers 40% of all alarms, he or she will be awarded 40 points. An active member needs to meet a minimum of 30% of alarms to be eligible for any benefit.
If the Fire Chief and LOSAP coordinator agree that the spatial and temporal distribution of fire responses precluded an otherwise active member from achieving the necessary eligibility threshold, attendance at scheduled recalls and maintenance work sessions may be credited toward the member's response total.
Training and drills: 25 points maximum.
This includes in-house Department and company drills and training sessions as well as approved fire service training outside the Department.
To receive credit for attending any course that is sponsored by an outside agency, fire academy, or other organization, approval from an officer prior to registration must be obtained and successful completion of the course must be documented.
Meetings, company or Department: 20 points maximum. Attendance at regular company or Boonton Fire Department meetings will be worth one point. Credit at the monthly Boonton Fire Department meetings will be Department-wide regardless of voting status of the member.
Elected or appointed positions: 50 points maximum.
Any elected or appointed Department or individual company position will have a point value applied to each position. Committee chairmen, co-chairmen, and coordinators point value to be reexamined yearly and posted with the Chief's standing orders. To receive credit, you must complete the full term in the position. The typical point award program is as follows:
Members who have served the Department as line officers in the past are rewarded for continued involvement. Their experience and training continue to be an asset to the Department. Should an active ex-officer respond to 30% of alarms and earn 50 points in one year, the following bonus points are awarded:
Merit points will be awarded at the discretion of the Board of Chiefs and the Department's LOSAP Committee. The following are examples of merit awards:
To encourage recruitment, members who refer new candidates for membership are eligible for 10 bonus points, provided the new member remains active for three years.
Miscellaneous activities: 20 points maximum. Many of the Departments' activities take place between dispatched calls. If an activity should take longer than one hour of members' time, one point is awarded. The maximum of 20 miscellaneous points can be gained yearly. Miscellaneous activities include:
Fund-raising: 25 points maximum. Any fundraising activity that has been preapproved by the Board of Chiefs is eligible for point accrual. This includes, but is not limited to, all House Committee and Labor Day work sessions, letter pickup, setups, cleanups and operational hours of the carnival. For each man hour of effort, one point shall be awarded to a maximum of 25 per year.
An active member is one who has less than 25 years service to the Department.
To emphasize the Department's core responsibilities, an active member must respond to 30% of the dispatched alarms to be eligible for any benefit of the plan. If the alarm response condition is met, the point sum equals the benefit percentage up to the maximum of 100%.
A member with more than 25 years of service to the Department does not need to meet the 30% alarm response requirement to benefit from this plan. A point total of 50 will be required to receive a disbursement 30% of the maximum. An increase of 10 points increases the disbursement 5% up to a total of 55% for 100 points.
This chapter shall not take effect unless it is approved by the voters as a public question at the next general election.
Editor's Note: This chapter was subject to a mandatory referendum and was passed at the general election held 11-5-2002.