Legislation & Regulations

VCOS VISION imageCurrent law and regulations, both at the state and federal level, create impediments to the sustainability of volunteer emergency service organizations (ESOs). In some cases, laws and rules of agencies from the same level of government conflict creating confusion and risk of violation by ESOs. Additionally, many legislative definitions are vague or absent, which leads to ambiguous interpretation of rules and regulations (i.e. line of duty death, definition of a volunteer, etc.). Finally, rules regarding the same matters vary significantly from state to state. Some examples include:

  • IRS regulations regarding volunteer compensation
  • Workers compensation regulations that create employee/employer relationships
  • Union rules preventing career firefighters from being volunteer firefighters
  • Environmental rules that restrict burn‐to‐learns
  • NFPA standards are not scalable based on organizational differences

Many volunteer-based ESOs are unaware of the challenges they face due to these issues. As a result, there is no consensus within ESOs for volunteer emergency responder legislation.

Blurring The Lines for a Realistic Fire Service

Tiered response program with different physical & training requirements based on individual participation levels.

Building Sturdy Relationships with Elected Officials

Webinar: Tips for building solid relationships with your elected officials to benefit your department and your future as a leader.

Guide to Intrastate Mutual Aid Planning

Includes a sample planning process, recommended functional components of a plan, best practices, potential obstacles and supporting factors.
  • IAFC Position Statement

IAFC Position: Active Involvement with Emergency Management

IAFC Supports Active Involvement with Emergency Management; Promoting Prevention, Mitigation, Preparedness, and Effective Response for a Reduced

Illinois Legislative and Regulation Resources

VISION: Legislative and regulation resources from the state of Illinois.

Illinois Mutual Aid

VISION: Illinois best practices with mutual aid and automatic aid.

Illinois: Legislation & Regulation to Resolve Critical Issues of Volunteers

Illinois legislation and regulations that is beneficial to recruitment and retention of volunteers.
  • Resource

IRS Fact Sheet: The Basics on Taxation and Fire Departments

This discussion addresses some of the common questions we receive from firefighters and their employing organizations.
  • Resource

Letter Template: Support FIRE-SAFER Appropriations

Use this template on your department letterhead to request Congress to support the fire/emergency service by reauthorizing AFG program funding.

MABAS (Mutual Aid Box Alarm System) Website

The Illinois Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) website for additional information on it.
  • Managing Volunteer Fire Fighters - FLSA (A guide for Fire Chiefs)

Managing Volunteer Firefighters for FLSA Compliance: A Guide for Fire Chiefs and Community Leaders

A guide for fire chiefs and community leaders to better manage volunteer firefighters for FLSA compliance.

Pennsylvania Laws Relating to Emergency Services

VISION: Compilation of Pennsylvania laws relation to emergency services.

Virginia Legislative and Regulation Survey Summary

VISION: Virginia legislative and regulations summary information.
  • VISION The VCOS International Strategic Initiative Online Network

VISION: The VCOS International Strategic Initiative Online Network

Resources that focus on specific areas of challenges relating to creating and sustaining viable emergency response programs

Washington Legislation and Regulation Resources

VISION: information and resources on the state of Washington's legislation and regulations.

Wyoming Fire Statutes, Fire Prevention Council and Electrical Board Rules

Fire standards for new construction; prevention, protection in existing buildings; and safeguarding life, property from hazmat fire/explosions