Health Care for Volunteer Firefighters

01/14/09 06:54 AM

Health care for volunteers is approved
By Nancy Gish

The Town of Wales may become the first town in Erie County to meet the state mandate on health care for volunteer firefighters, emergency medical service and ambulance workers.

The Town Board approved an agreement Tuesday with BlueCross BlueShield to provide coverage through the town for the volunteers, who will pay the premiums themselves. The volunteers’ rate will be the same as for town employees.

Councilman Michael Simon, who volunteered to get the town in compliance by Jan. 17, reported that BlueCross BlueShield told him Wales is the only town so far that has asked for such coverage.

Highway Superintendent Mike Zywar, who also is Wales Center fire chief, told The Buffalo News he has no volunteers who want coverage through the town. Councilman Donald Butcher, a South Wales volunteer firefighter told The News that about 5 percent of South Wales volunteers may be interested.

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Comment by Kimberly A Bownas on January 14, 2009 at 10:51pm
Wow, that is really nice to see. Maybe it will catch on and other towns will follow suit....
Comment by Engineco913 on January 14, 2009 at 7:11pm
I hope in due time they can combine active membership towards an incentive program which will greatly reduce the cost of insurance to the firefighters. This is a great idea and I hope with time it will become better

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