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AGO Opinions with Topic: FIREMEN
AGO 1990 No. 7 >  August 21, 1990
FIREMEN - PENSIONS - DISABILITY - FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICTS - MEDICAL BENEFITS
FIREMEN ‑- PENSIONS ‑- DISABILITY ‑- FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICTS ‑- MEDICAL BENEFITS 1.  The obligation imposed by RCW 41.18.060 to provide medical care for a fireman who has been disabled cannot be fulfilled by the purchase of a medical insurance policy.  2.   The Firemen's Pension Board established pursuant to RCW 41.18.015 may exercise some discretion in specifying authorized care providers if it does so through properly established procedures.
AGO 1971 No. 34 >  November 4, 1971
PENSIONS - RETIREMENT - FIREMEN - LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS' AND FIRE FIGHTERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM
PENSIONS ‑- RETIREMENT ‑- FIREMEN ‑- LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS' AND FIRE FIGHTERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM (1) It is not necessary that a fire dispatcher pass a civil service examination for firemen or fire fighters in order to be considered a "fire fighter" as that term is used in chapter 41.26 RCW, the law enforcement officers' and fire fighters' retirement system; instead, it is sufficient that a person has been serving on a full-time, fully compensated basis as a fire dispatcher in a city, town or other municipal fire department which, on March 1, 1970, required its dispatchers to have passed a civil service examination for fireman or fire fighter ‑ without regard to whether the particular individual has, himself, taken or passed such an examination.(2) Any person who, on March 1, 1970, was employed in a fulltime, fully compensated basis by an employer covered by the law enforcement officers' and fire fighters' retirement system, and who, on May 21, 1971, was making contributions under the provisions of chapters 41.16 or 41.18 RCW, is also now to be considered a "fire fighter" for the purposes of chapter 41.26 RCW, whether or not he has taken or passed a civil service examination for fire fighters or firemen.(3) A retired fireman is entitled to the increased benefits provided by RCW 41.16.145 or RCW 41.18.104, as clarified by §§ 17 and 18 of chapter 257, Laws of 1971, 1st Ex. Sess., if he was retired for disability under either of those two chapters and was so retired prior to June 8, 1961.(4) A fire fighter who has vested under RCW 41.18.130 is not required to have attained the age of 50 years before being entitled to receive an allowance under that statute.
AGO 1961 No. 38 >  June 14, 1961
PENSIONS - FIREMEN - STATUTE OF LIMITATION - REPAYMENT OF OVERCHARGES
PENSIONS ‑- FIREMEN ‑- STATUTE OF LIMITATION ‑- REPAYMENT OF OVERCHARGES The three‑year statute of limitations is applicable to claims against municipal firemen's pension fund for a refund of overpayments to the fund by municipal firemen.
AGO 1961 No. 40 >  June 22, 1961
PENSION - FIREMEN - USE OF MILLAGE LEVY FOR MUNICIPAL PURPOSES OTHER THAN PENSION FUND
PENSION ‑- FIREMEN ‑- USE OF MILLAGE LEVY FOR MUNICIPAL PURPOSES OTHER THAN PENSION FUND Under the provisions of § 9, chapter 255, Laws of 1961, if after an examination of and report on the condition of the firemen's pension fund by an actuary, it is determined that the condition of the fund is such as not to require all or part of the millage levy therein provided for, such millage may be levied and used for another municipal purpose.
AGO 1961 No. 45 >  July 5, 1961
PENSIONS - FIREMEN - COVERAGE UNDER CHAPTER 255, LAWS OF 1961
PENSIONS ‑- FIREMEN ‑- COVERAGE UNDER CHAPTER 255, LAWS OF 1961 (1) A fireman who has made contributions under prior act and desires to avail himself of the benefits of chapter 255, Laws of 1961, must manifest his election by filing a written notice with the board within sixty days from June 8, 1961.(2) Such a fireman must return any refunds previously received by reason of selecting the benefits of prior acts before becoming entitled to the benefits provided by chapter 255, Laws of 1961, but such return of refunds need not be accomplished within sixty days after June 8, 1961.(3) A fireman who has received prior refunds cannot elect to come under the 1961 act without returning in full the amount of such refunds.(4) The return of refunds above described is to be made to the appropriate local firemen's pension board and a contract can be made between the fireman and the board for the payment of required refunds over a period of time; but until a complete return of such refunds is accomplished, the fireman in question will not be covered by the new act.(5) With the exception of those pre‑1947 (i.e., "prior") firemen who affirmatively elected, pursuant to chapter 382, Laws of 1955, to remain under the pre‑1947 pension system, firemen whose employment commenced prior to January 1, 1947, should be treated as being covered by chapter 382, Laws of 1955, and thereby required to contribute to the firemen's pension fund the salary percentages called for by that 1955 act rather than the lesser percentage called for by § 4, chapter 39, Laws of 1935.(6) A claim for refund of the overcontributions resulting from a mistake of law as to the applicability of chapter 91, Laws of 1947, would come within the three‑year statute of limitations.(7) Where a pre‑1947 (i.e., "prior") fireman pursuant to § 17, chapter 382, Laws of 1955, has elected to remain a member of the pre‑1947 pension system, his recovery of overcontributions due to a mistake of law is a refund by reason of selection of the benefits of prior acts and consequently, such overcontributions as have been thus recovered are returnable as a condition precedent to coverage under the new 1961 act if an election to be so covered is made.(8) A fireman whose employment commenced prior to January 1, 1947, is a member of the 1955 pension system in the absence of an affirmative election to the contrary.  If an election to come into the 1947 [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]or 1955 system has been made by a particular prior fireman, such fireman cannot now elect to return to the pre‑1947 pension system.
AGO 1973 No. 24 >  November 29, 1973
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - CITY COUNCILMEN - FIREMEN - INCOMPATIBLE OFFICES - CITY COUNCILMAN AND MEMBER OF A FIRE DEPARTMENT
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- CITY COUNCILMEN ‑- FIREMEN ‑- INCOMPATIBLE OFFICES ‑- CITY COUNCILMAN AND MEMBER OF A FIRE DEPARTMENT The members of a board of county commissioners, during the remainder of the terms of office they were serving on the effective date of the salary increases granted by the legislature in chapter 88, Laws of 1973, 1st Ex. Sess., may receive those legislatively granted increases; they may not, however, constitutionally receive mid-term increases in such health care benefits as they have provided for themselves and other county officers and employees under the provisions of RCW 41.04.180.
AGO 1974 No. 5 >  February 11, 1974
PENSIONS - FIREMEN - LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS - COMPUTATION OF TWO PERCENT COST OF LIVING PENSION INCREASES
PENSIONS ‑- FIREMEN ‑- LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS ‑- COMPUTATION OF TWO PERCENT COST OF LIVING PENSION INCREASES In view of the enactment of chapter 181, Laws of 1973, 1st Ex. Sess., establishing a $300 per month minimum with respect to the pensions payable to certain retired municipal firemen and law enforcement officers and their survivors, this figure now constitutes the minimum basis to be used in computing the annual two percent cost of living pension increases provided for in RCW 41.16.145, RCW 41.18.104, and RCW 41.26.250.
AGO 1962 No. 140 >  May 24, 1962
PENSIONS - FIREMEN - CITIES AND TOWNS - USE OF MILLAGE LEVY - DEFINITION OF ACTUARY - FUND CONSIDERED ACTUARIALLY SOUND
PENSIONS ‑- FIREMEN ‑- CITIES AND TOWNS ‑- USE OF MILLAGE LEVY ‑- DEFINITION OF ACTUARY ‑- FUND CONSIDERED ACTUARIALLY SOUND (1) Under the provisions of § 9, chapter 255, Laws of 1961, if after an examination of and report on the condition of the firemen's pension fund by an actuary, it is determined that the condition of the fund is such as not to require all or part of the millage levy therein provided for, such millage may be omitted or levied and used for other municipal purposes. (2) The word "actuary" as used in RCW 41.16.060 means the computing officer of an insurance company; a person skilled in calculating the value of life interests, annuities, and insurance.  Whether or not an individual qualifies as an actuary is a question of fact since there is no legal provision in this state for crediting or qualifying an actuary for the purposes of RCW 41.16.060. (3) and (4) Examination and report of an actuary specified by RCW 41.16.060 contemplates an examination and report as to the actuarial soundness of the firemen's pension fund; not merely the anticipated cash disbursements or operating expenses of the fund for an ensuing fiscal year.
AGO 1976 No. 21 >  November 30, 1976
CITIES AND TOWNS - DISTRICTS - FIRE PROTECTIION - FIREMEN
APPLICABILITY OF MINIMUM WAGE ACT TO MUNICIPAL FIRE FIGHTERS a
AGO 1977 No. 7 >  March 3, 1977
TAXATION - PROPERTY - PENSIIONS - RETIREMENT - POLICE - FIREMEN - LEOFF
TAXATION ‑- PROPERTY ‑- PENSIIONS ‑- RETIREMENT ‑- POLICE ‑- FIREMEN ‑- LEOFF ‑- PROPERTY TAXES FOR FIREMEN'S PENSION FUND (1) RCW 41.26.040(3) does not prohibit a city or town from using property tax revenues obtained under RCW 41.16.060 for municipal purposes other than the funding of firemen's pensions in those cases where such other uses are permitted by the terms of the latter statute.  (2) A municipality which first created a full time, paid fire department after March 1, 1970, the date upon which the LEOFF system became operative, is not authorized to levy the additional property tax provided for in RCW 41.16.060.
AGO 1966 No. 85 >  May 2, 1966
FIREMEN - LONGEVITY PAY - CONTRIBUTIONS TO FIREMEN'S PENSION FUND - PENSIONS AND BENEFITS
FIREMEN ‑- LONGEVITY PAY ‑- CONTRIBUTIONS TO FIREMEN'S PENSION FUND ‑- PENSIONS AND BENEFITS Under the 1955 paid firemen's pension act (chapter 41.18 RCW) a fireman's longevity pay should be included as a factor in determining the amount of his contributions to the firemen's pension fund, and the disability and pension allowances payable to disabled and retiring firemen without regard to whether or not such longevity pay is attached to a rank.
AGO 1967 No. 28 >  August 3, 1967
PENSIONS - FIREMEN - AUTHORITY OF CITY COUNCIL TO REVIEW DECISION OF MUNICIPAL FIREMEN'S PENSION BOARD - LIABILITY FOR HOSPITAL, MEDICAL AND NURSING CARE
PENSIONS - FIREMEN - AUTHORITY OF CITY COUNCIL TO REVIEW DECISION OF MUNICIPAL FIREMEN'S PENSION BOARD - LIABILITY FOR HOSPITAL, MEDICAL AND NURSING CARE (1) The city council of a city which has covered its paid firemen under the pension provisions of chapters 41.16 and 41.18 RCW is not authorized to review, amend or reject a claim for a pension which has been allowed by the firemen's pension board for the city involved. (2) Where a paid fireman is disabled as a result of an injury incurred while in the performance of his duties as a fireman, (a) if coverage is under chapter 41.16 RCW, the municipal pension board is required to provide medical, hospital and nursing care in connection with the disability for such period as the board deems proper; (b) if coverage is under chapter 41.18 RCW, the municipal pension board is required to provide medical, hospital and nursing care in connection with the disability as long as the disability exists; (c) however, in neither case should the board be regarded as liable for any and all medical, hospital and nursing costs incurred by the disabled fireman without regard to whether the fireman has made a prior application and received prior approval in accordance with established procedures.
AGO 1967 No. 40 >  December 5, 1967
FIREMEN - PENSIONS - FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT - TORT LIABILITY OF FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT FOR INJURY TO VOLUNTEER FIREMAN
FIREMEN - PENSIONS - FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT - TORT LIABILITY OF FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT FOR INJURY TO VOLUNTEER FIREMAN Where a member of the volunteer fire department of a fire protection district is injured in the performance of his duties as a fireman in consequence of tortious conduct on the part of the district, including district officials or employees, the fact that his disability is also compensable under the provisions of chapter 41.24 RCW, relating to the volunteer firemen's relief and pension system, does not constitute a defense to liability on the part of the fire protection district.
AGO 1993 No. 4 >  March 22, 1993
CITIES AND TOWNS - CHARTERS - FIREMEN - RETIREMENT - PENSIONS
Appointment of a city director of finance to serve on municipal firemen's pension board RCW 41.16.020 creates a municipal firemen's pension board and provides that one member is the city comptroller or clerk.  If a charter city eliminates the position of comptroller and assigns those functions to a director of finance, the city can assign the director of finance to the pension board instead of the clerk.
AGO 1969 No. 22 >  November 25, 1969
PENSIONS - FIREMEN - POST-RETIREMENT PENSION INCREASES FOR CERTAIN WIDOWS OF DECEASED MUNICIPAL FIREMEN
PENSIONS - FIREMEN - POST-RETIREMENT PENSION INCREASES FOR CERTAIN WIDOWS OF DECEASED MUNICIPAL FIREMEN The widow of a municipal fireman (covered under the provisions of chapter 41.18 RCW at the time of his death) whose death in line of duty or retirement for service connected disability occurred prior to July 1, 1969, is covered by § 33, chapter 209, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess.; accordingly, such a widow is entitled to have her monthly pension payable under RCW 41.18.100 annually increased by two percent, with the first increase becoming effective on July 1, 1969, or one year after commencement of payments, whichever is later. The annual post-retirement pension increase payable to the widow of a municipal fireman covered under the provisions of chapter 41.18 RCW at the time of his death in line of duty or following retirement for service connected disability, but who was still living and in service on July 1, 1969, when chapter 209, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess., became effective, will be governed by the provisions of § 28 of that act, to the end that her annual two percent pension increases will be effective with each January pension payment she receives under that section.
AGO 1958 No. 207 >  June 25, 1958
CITIES AND TOWNS - OFFICES AND OFFICERS - CITY CLERK - "F" MISC. - FIREMEN
AUTHORITY OF CITY CLERK TO APPOINT AND REMOVE DEPUTY REGISTRAR -- OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- CITY CLERK ‑- AUTHORITY TO APPOINT ON-DUTY FIREMAN AS DEPUTY REGISTRAR. 'F' MISC. (1) City clerk of first class city can designate fire station in the legislative district within the city as the fixed place for registering voters.  (2) City clerk is authorized to appoint an on-duty fireman as deputy registrar and pay him the minimum fee of 20 cents for each elector registered.  (3) A deputy registrar may register electors by going from door to door without specific authorization of the city clerk, but the city clerk is legally authorized to remove a deputy registrar at his discretion.
AGO 1957 No. 117 >  August 28, 1957
CITIES AND TOWNS - FIREMEN - DISABILITY PENSIONS - DISEASES COVERED - APPLICATION - POWERS AND DUTIES OF PENSION IN PASSING ON - BURDEN OF PROOF
CITIES AND TOWNS ‑- FIREMEN ‑- DISABILITY PENSIONS ‑- DISEASES COVERED ‑- APPLICATION ‑- POWERS AND DUTIES OF PENSION IN PASSING ON ‑- BURDEN OF PROOF Any disease, including poliomyelitis, contracted by a fireman in connection with the performance of his duties as a member of the fire department would entitle him to a disability pension.  The burden of establishing a right to pension ordinarily rests on the claimant.  The pension board in passing upon and allowing or disallowing a fireman's claim for pension, bases its decision on a determination of fact.  Before disposing of any claim adversely to the claimant such a board must accord the claimant an opportunity to be heard and to present testimony in support of his claim.
AGO 1960 No. 148 >  September 30, 1960
PENSION - FIREMEN - RIGHT TO RECEIVE MEDICAL, HOSPITAL AND NURSING CARE
PENSION - FIREMEN - RIGHT TO RECEIVE MEDICAL, HOSPITAL AND NURSING CARE RCW 41.18.060 gives the municipal firemen's pension board discretion to provide a disabled fireman with medical, hospital and nursing care as long as the disability exists.
AGO 1960 No. 164 >  December 6, 1960
PENSIONS - FIREMEN - REFUND OF CONTRIBUTIONS
PENSIONS - FIREMEN - REFUND OF CONTRIBUTIONS A fireman continuously employed by a city from September 1, 1942 until May 31, 1957, is not entitled to a refund of his contributions to the pension fund for the period from October 1, 1942 to March 11, 1947 irrespective of whether or not he filed a written notice under the provisions of RCW 41.18.160.
AGO 1955 No. 158 >  November 7, 1955
OASI - COUNTY REFERENDUM - ELIGIBILITY - ELECTED OFFICIALS - SUPERIOR COURT JUDGES - POLICEMEN - FIREMEN
OASI ‑- COUNTY REFERENDUM ‑- ELIGIBILITY ‑- ELECTED OFFICIALS ‑- SUPERIOR COURT JUDGES ‑- POLICEMEN ‑- FIREMEN ‑- HORTICULTURAL EMPLOYEES ‑- AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION EMPLOYEES ‑- SUPERIOR COURT EMPLOYEE 1. Elected officials, except where paid on fee basis, are eligible. 2. Superior court judges are ineligible. 3. Sheriff's department, harbor and fire patrols, airport guards, juvenile court employees, county engineer's traffic control officer, and other county law enforcement personnel are eligible. 4. Employees of superior court and Seattle‑King County health department are eligible. 5. Agricultural extension agents and horticultural inspectors are ineligible; other personnel in those departments are eligible.
AGO 1955 No. 153 >  October 28, 1955
FIREMEN - PENSION SYSTEMS - ELIGIBILITY FOR REFUND OF CONTRIBUTIONS
FIREMEN ‑- PENSION SYSTEMS ‑- ELIGIBILITY FOR REFUND OF CONTRIBUTIONS A paid fireman employed prior to January 1, 1947, who is a member of the pension system established by the Laws of 1909, is not entitled to a refund of his pension contributions if he resigns prior to twenty years' service.
AGO 1954 No. 261 >  May 21, 1954
FIREMEN - PENSION - PAYROLL DEDUCTIONS - REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXCESSIVE DEDUCTIONS
FIREMEN ‑- PENSION ‑- PAYROLL DEDUCTIONS ‑- REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXCESSIVE DEDUCTIONS 1.  Firemen employed prior to January 1, 1947, are entitled to have their payroll deduction for support of the Firemen's Pension Fund reduced from 5% to 4% upon becoming eligible for retirement and continuing active employment.  2.  If a five percent deduction has been erroneously continued the pension board may legally reimburse the fireman for the excessive deduction from the pension fund.
AGO 1954 No. 262 >  May 24, 1954
FIREMEN - PENSION BENEFITS - TEMPORARY DISABILITY - 6 MONTH FULL SALARY BENEFITS - CONDITIONS
FIREMEN ‑- PENSION BENEFITS ‑- TEMPORARY DISABILITY ‑- 6 MONTH FULL SALARY BENEFITS ‑- CONDITIONS In order to qualify for the six months full salary benefit provided in Rem. Rev. Stat. Supp. § 9565, a temporarily disabled "prior fireman" must be so disabled as to require nursing and medical care.
AGO 1953 No. 121 >  August 24, 1953
FIRE DISTRICTS - POWERS - OPERATION OF AMBULANCE SERVICE - FIREMEN - FIREMAN'S ASSOCIATION - OPERATION OF AMBULANCE SERVICE
FIRE DISTRICTS ‑- POWERS ‑- OPERATION OF AMBULANCE SERVICE -- FIREMEN ‑- FIREMAN'S ASSOCIATION ‑- OPERATION OF AMBULANCE SERVICE 1. A fire district may own and operate an ambulance service. 2. A fireman's association may own and operate an ambulance service.
AGLO 1981 No. 7 >  March 19, 1981
PENSIONS - RETIREMENT - CITIES AND TOWNS - POLICE - FIREMEN - LEOFF
USE OF MUNICIPAL FIREMEN'S PENSION FUND (1) Monies in a prior municipal firemen's pension fund may now lawfully be used for the payment of service retirement, disability retirement and other pension benefits to qualified members of the former paid firemen's pension system and, as well, for the payment of hospitalization costs and other medical expenses incurred by firefighters covered by the Law Enforcement Officers' and Fire Fighters' System Plan I.
AGLO 1975 No. 58 >  June 6, 1975
PENSIONS - RETIREMENT - FIREMEN - MANDATORY RETIREMENT
SURVIVORS' BENEFITS (1) It is not within the authority of either a local board or the state board for volunteer firemen to require all volunteer firemen who are enrolled under the pension provisions of chapter 41.24 RCW to retire upon attaining age 65; the only volunteer firemen required to retire at such age are those who have been members of the pension system and have served for a period of twenty-five years as active members of a regularly organized volunteer fire department. (2) A volunteer fireman enrolled under the pension provisions of chapter 41.24 RCW prior to July 1, 1973, may not elect to remain under the prior laws, pay the lesser fees required thereby, and claim the lesser benefits thereunder.
AGLO 1975 No. 59 >  June 10, 1975
LEOFF - PENSIONS - RETIREMENT - FIREMEN
PAYMENT OF MEDICAL INSURANCE PREMIUMS FOR RETIRED FIREMEN Moneys in a city's paid fireman's pension fund established pursuant to RCW 41.16.050 may not be used to pay medical and dental insurance premiums for retired former firemen not also covered by chapter 41.26 RCW who have only contributed to that prior pension fund; however, moneys in such a paid fireman's pension fund may be used to pay medical and dental insurance premiums for fire fighters under the LEFF system (chapter 41.26 RCW) who have not contributed to the fund established pursuant to RCW 41.16.050 from which the payments in question are made.
AGLO 1973 No. 93 >  September 11, 1973
FIREMEN - PENSION FUND - TAXATION - CITIES AND TOWNS
FIREMEN ‑- PENSION FUND ‑- TAXATION ‑- CITIES AND TOWNS A city or town which does not have a regularly organized full time, paid, fire department is not authorized to levy the one‑half mill property tax provided for by RCW 41.16.060.
AGLO 1974 No. 79 >  September 11, 1974
PENSIONS - RETIREMENT - FIREMEN
COMPUTATION OF CERTAIN DISABILITY RETIREMENT BENEFITS Where a municipal fireman otherwise eligible for a disability retirement allowance under the provisions of RCW 41.18.060 was, at the time of retirement, holding a rank or receiving a salary in excess of that of a battalion chief, he is not thereby precluded from receiving the additional increments in such allowance that are payable under that statute by reason of years of service in excess of twenty-five years.
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