New bill awards funds for first responders

Published 1:13 pm Tuesday, July 19, 2022

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Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has signed into law Senate Bill 2342 by Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston), which establishes a length of service award program for volunteer firefighters, emergency medical services providers and ambulance drivers.

The bill authorizes the State Treasurer to award grants to eligible employers that match employee contributions. Each grant would be a one-to-one match of the employer’s contributions, with a maximum of $200 per participating volunteer and a maximum of 25 volunteers or $5,000 per employer.

“Our volunteer firefighters and emergency services personnel generously donate their time and effort to protect our communities,” said Yager. “They provide an invaluable service across the state and this is the least we can do to support them. I want to thank Rep. Ron Gant (R-Piperton) for co-sponsoring this bill and helping it pass in the House.”

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Treasurer David H. Lillard, Jr. agreed.

“A length of service award program is a great way to recruit and retain volunteer firefighters and emergency service personnel. I thank Senator Yager and Representative Gant for the legislation to allow Treasury to support communities through this program.”

The grants will be awarded annually on a first-come, first-served basis, beginning July 1, 2023 and in each fiscal year thereafter. The law was unanimously passed by both the Senate and House earlier this year.