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Volunteer Firefighters and the Line-of-Duty Death Payment

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Reviewed Date: May 25, 2017

Original Author: 
Wolf, Dennis
Date of Material: 
Oct 4, 2004

Fire--Volunteer organizations
Personnel--Fringe benefits

Volunteer Firefighters and the Line-of-Duty Death Payment

MTAS was asked several questions about the line-of-duty death payment for volunteer firefighters.

Knowledgebase-Volunteer Firefighters and the Line-of-Duty Death PaymentA volunteer firefighter that receives "nominal" pay is still a volunteer. An older court case ruled that up to $150.00 per month would still be nominal pay. That court case is several years old, so I think it is safe to assume that with inflation, that nominal pay could be up to $200 per month in todays market conditions and labor rates.

A career firefighter who volunteers in a fire department where they are not employed would be considered a volunteer if the line of duty death occurred while they were on-duty with the volunteer fire department. The career firefighter would not receive the State of TN line-of-duty payment if their death occurred while on their paid job. The TN IAFF (Union) did not want their members covered by legislation that covered volunteer firefighters so they asked to be removed from the bill. The original bill included both career and volunteer firefighters for the $25,000 TN line-of-duty death payment.

Ray Crouch, Sr.
Fire Department Management Consultant
University of Tennessee IPS / MTAS
226 Capital Blvd. - Suite 600
Nashville, TN 37219
Office 615-532-4950 Cell 615-476-2693

About Our Knowledgebase

Information written by MTAS staff was based on the law at the time and/or a specific sets of facts. The laws referenced may have changed and/or the technical advice provided may not be applicable to your city or circumstances. Always consult with your city attorney or an MTAS consultant before taking any action based on information posted to this website.