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.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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