Tag: fire districts

New Law Helps Firefighters Diagnosed with Cancer

In Gene Necklaus’ 36-person Scottsboro Fire Department, he’s seen three firefighters in recent years diagnosed with occupation-related cancers. One of them died last year. The other two were able to return to work after treatment. One had $20,000 in out-of-pocket expenses, including deductibles and co-pays, Nicklaus said.

“It shouldn’t cost him because he got cancer on the job,” Necklaus, president of the Alabama Association of Fire Chiefs said.

Fire officials around the state praised a new Alabama law that will require local governments to provide supplemental insurance coverage for career firefighters diagnosed with cancer. Read more.

Bill Would Protect Forest Owners From Fire District Fees

Disputes between timberland owners and some fire districts have resulted in statewide legislation to prohibit any district from assessing fees or dues on timberland.

“We have, unfortunately, local fire districts throughout the state and some of them, we feel like, have been taking some measures, i.e., issuing some costs, on their own,” Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Atmore, said. “The (Alabama Forestry Association) and such have felt we have to do something to protect the landowners.”

Senate Bill 282 would leave fire protection on privately owned property used for timber production to the Alabama Forestry Commission, a state agency. The bill, which would affect money paid to Jefferson County fire districts including the one in Center Point, was given a favorable report on a 11-0 vote in the Senate Forestry, Conservation and Agriculture Committee earlier this month. The next stop is a vote in the Senate.

Fire district fees as high as $8 an acre per year have been reported in Jefferson County.

“I don’t want to call out folks, but it is my understanding that most of the issue has been raised in the northern part of the state,” Albritton said.

Gene Necklaus, president of the Alabama Association of Fire Chiefs, said the issue appears to be between a few holding companies and one or two fire districts. Read more.