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.