WASHINGTON - Congressman Patrick McHenry (NC-10) released the following statement after the introduction of legislation to allow full-time, paid volunteer firefighters and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel at non-profit departments eligibility in their state retirement program. Congressman McHenry joins his fellow North Carolina Republican colleagues as original cosponsors. Congressman McHenry previously introduced this legislation in the 117th Congress.
“I am proud to continue my support for this legislation that provides fire and EMS personnel serving at non-profit departments the same benefits as their state-employed counterparts," said Congressman McHenry. "These brave men and women work tirelessly to keep our communities safe and they deserve our support.”
"North Carolinians depend on the selfless service of first responders every single day,"said Congressman Greg Murphy, M.D. "It is only fitting that these dedicated individuals should be able to depend on the government to provide them with a reliable retirement plan. This bill will be critical in ensuring our brave first responders are taken care of when their call to service comes to an end."
“I thank Representatives Murphy, McHenry, Foxx, Hudson, Rouzer, Bishop, and Edwards for introducing this legislation,” said Chief Donna Black, the President and Board Chair of the International Association of Fire Chiefs. “This legislation will ensure that our members of the North Carolina fire and emergency service are recognized for their commitment to their communities. As volunteer fire departments adapt to a changing environment, it is important that we recognize and look after the career firefighters who work alongside them and allow the sustainability of our volunteer service.”
For years, the IRS has prevented full-time volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel from joining the North Carolina state retirement system despite providing the same emergency and community services as those employed by the state. This legislation creates a special rule to clarify that 501c (nonprofit) public safety agency firefighters and EMS workers can join the governmental plan of the locality or state they are contracted to work in.