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Original Author: Cross, Steven
Date of Material: 08/20/2021

Subjects(s):
Fire--Volunteer organizations
Fire--Personnel
Fire--Administration--Tennessee
Fire service--Tennessee
Fire service--Organization

Volunteer Firefighter Educational Incentive Pay Program

Reviewed Date: 08/20/2021
Summary:
Tennessee’s 112th General Assembly approved new legislation that provides an annual monetary incentive to volunteer firefighters that complete an approved training program and eventually earn professional credentials at minimum of Firefighter I level certification through the Tennessee Fire Commission. MTAS explains the details here.


Tennessee’s 112th General Assembly approved new legislation that provides an annual monetary incentive to volunteer firefighters that complete an approved training program and eventually earn professional credentials at minimum of Firefighter I level certification through the Tennessee Fire Commission. This training and certification incentive may further serve as a catalyst to spark or augment recruitment and retention programs for volunteer firefighters across our state.

House Bill 0772 and Senate Bill 0778 passed and were published as Public Chapter 478. This legislation amended the current Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 4, Chapter 24 that already authorized monetary incentive for full-time career firefighters that complete an approved training program and earn a minimum level of certification. The amended legislation provides for $600 to each volunteer firefighter that meets program requirements.

What must a fire department do for its members to earn this educational incentive pay from the State of Tennessee? The Fire Chief or Training Officer for the fire department must complete a Fire Commission 101 presentation and submit their Volunteer Educational Incentive Pay Information Sheet to the Tennessee Fire Commission via email to Anthony.Grande@tn.gov.

Since the volunteer incentive became effective July 1, 2021, fire departments will have requirements for the 2021 training year will be more relaxed that subsequent training years. For the 2021 training year, fire departments must document a minimum of 30-hours of verifiable training and an active CPR card for each participant. At the end of 2021, the department would then submit their request for the incentive through the Tennessee Fire Commission’s normal procedures.

For the 2022 training year, fire departments must submit their training program consisting of a minimum of 30-hours of curriculum for the Tennessee Fire Commission to review for approval by October 1, 2021. Once approved, the curriculum must be completed during the calendar year 2022.

Each course listed in the curriculum must contain:
  • Course Title
  • Date or date range the class will be taught
  • Course description of at least one paragraph
  • Name of instructor(s)
  • Test Instrument
    • Consists of a minimum of 10-questions or 1-question per hour of instruction, whichever is greater, of multiple-choice format
    • Questions must have 4-possible answer choices. No choice for “all of the above”, “both C/D”, “True/False”.
  • Answer Key provided for the course test instrument.
The training program must contain a minimum of 30-hours of curriculum that includes the following:
  • 4-Hours of hazardous materials, stress management, sudden infant death syndrome, or domestic violence annually provided on a rotating schedule.
  • No more than 16-hours of medical training
  • No more than 20-hours of online training content
  • Each student must successfully pass an exam for each subject
Other requirements participants must complete to be eligible for the incentive are:
  • 16-Hours of initial fire training, 64-Hours of additional fire training, and live burn training within 36-months.
    • Live burns, for testing prerequisites, are valid for 10-years
  • Firefighter I Tennessee Fire Commission certification within 60-months to continue eligibility for the monetary incentive.
This legislation provides a monetary incentive to volunteer firefighters to participate in enhanced firefighter training across our State. Please feel free to contact representatives of the Tennessee Fire Commission Brian Nicholson at 931.200.9337 or Michael Miranda at 615.339.6021 for additional or more specific information.

Consultants of the University of Tennessee MTAS are always available to assist in any way you need.



Reference Document(s)
file VolunteerEducationalIncentivePayInformationSheet.docx