35-101. Volunteer firefighters; exemptions enumerated; retired firefighters; exemptions.

All volunteer members in good standing in any fire company or hook and ladder company in this state shall be exempt from militia duty in time of peace; Provided, that said certificate of exemption shall be approved and authorized by the council or board of trustees under the seal of the city or village in which the fire department issuing the same is located. When any member shall have retired from such company after having served ten years or more he shall be furnished a certificate of exemption. Any member in good standing in any fire company or hook and ladder company in this state on September 20, 1957, shall be furnished a certificate of exemption after five years of service; Provided, when a member serves in different fire companies or hook and ladder companies in this state, or at different times in the same company, he may add the years he previously served to his present membership in order to qualify for such exemption. Persons who received certificates of exemption for five years' service prior to September 20, 1957, shall be entitled to all exemptions theretofore enjoyed by holders of such certificates.

Source:Laws 1867 (Ter.), § 1, p. 16; Laws 1871, § 1, p. 131; G.S.1873, c. 24, § 1, p. 390; R.S.1913, § 2496; Laws 1915, c. 44, § 1, p. 122; C.S.1922, § 2434; C.S.1929, § 35-101; R.S.1943, § 35-101; Laws 1955, c. 126, § 1, p. 359; Laws 1957, c. 135, § 1, p. 452; Laws 1959, c. 143, § 2, p. 553; Laws 1961, c. 166, § 1, p. 496; Laws 1963, c. 194, § 1, p. 639; Laws 1971, LB 14, § 1; Laws 1972, LB 1032, § 226; Laws 1973, LB 99, § 1.


Cross References

35-102. Volunteer fire department; number of members; copy of roll; filing.

No volunteer fire department shall have upon its rolls at one time more than twenty-five persons, for each engine and hose company in said fire department, and no hook and ladder company shall have upon its rolls at any one time more than twenty-five members. The foreman and secretary of every such company shall, on the first day of April and October in each year, file in the office of the clerk of the district court in and for the respective counties a certified copy of the rolls of their respective companies so as to obtain for the members thereof the privilege of the exemption mentioned in section 35-101. No organization shall be deemed to be a bona fide fire, or hook and ladder company until it shall have procured for active service apparatus for the extinguishment or prevention of fires, in case of a hose company, to the value of seven hundred dollars, and of a hook and ladder company to the value of five hundred dollars.

Source:Laws 1867 (Ter.), § 2, p. 16; G.S.1873, c. 24, § 2, p. 390; R.S.1913, § 2497; Laws 1915, c. 44, § 1, p. 122; C.S.1922, § 2435; C.S.1929, § 35-102; R.S.1943, § 35-102.


35-103. Volunteer firefighters; members in good standing.

Members in good standing are hereby defined to be those who keep their dues promptly paid up, and are present and render active service when called out for the legitimate purposes of their organization.

Source:Laws 1867 (Ter.), § 3, p. 16; G.S.1873, c. 24, § 3, p. 390; R.S.1913, § 2498; C.S.1922, § 2436; C.S.1929, § 35-103; R.S.1943, § 35-103.


35-104. Repealed. Laws 1955, c. 126, § 2.

35-105. Equipment; exemption from execution and sale.

All fire engines, hose, hose carriages, ladders, buckets, and all vehicles, machinery, and appliances of every kind used or kept by incorporated cities, villages, or fire companies for the purpose of extinguishing fires are hereby exempt from execution and sale to satisfy any debt, judgment, or decree arising upon contract or otherwise. The provisions of this section shall not affect any voluntary lien created by bill of sale, security agreement as defined in article 9, Uniform Commercial Code, or otherwise, on such property, by the proper owner.

Source:Laws 1869, § 1, p. 17; R.S.1913, § 2499; C.S.1922, § 2438; C.S.1929, § 35-105; R.S.1943, § 35-105; Laws 1972, LB 1055, § 1; Laws 1999, LB 550, § 5.    


35-106. Fire insurance companies; occupation tax; levy; collection.

The municipal authorities of any city of the first or second class or village, shall have authority, by ordinance, to impose an occupation tax of not more than five dollars per annum on each fire insurance corporation, company or association, doing business in such city or village, for the use, support, and benefit of volunteer fire departments, regularly organized under the laws of the State of Nebraska regulating the same. The municipal clerk shall collect with diligence the occupation tax so imposed. Upon the receipt of said tax the municipal clerk shall pay over the proceeds thereof to the municipal treasurer who shall credit the same to a fund to be known as special occupation tax fund for benefit of the volunteer fire department. Upon proper claim filed by the chief of the fire department and allowed by the local governing body of the municipality, the municipal treasurer shall pay over the proceeds of the tax in the fund from time to time for the use of the fire department, as hereinbefore provided.

Source:Laws 1895, c. 38, § 1, p. 167; R.S.1913, § 2525; C.S.1922, § 2448; C.S.1929, § 35-401; Laws 1939, c. 37, § 1, p. 190; C.S.Supp.,1941, § 35-401; R.S.1943, § 35-106.


Annotations

35-107. Volunteer department; emergency first aid; members; immunity from liability; when.

No member of a volunteer fire department or of a volunteer first-aid, rescue, or emergency squad which provides emergency public first-aid and rescue services shall be liable in any civil action to respond in damages as a result of his acts of commission or omission arising out of and in the course of his rendering in good faith any such services as such member but such immunity from liability shall not extend to the operation of any motor vehicle in connection with such services.

Nothing in this section shall be deemed to grant any such immunity to any person causing damage by his willful or wanton act of commission or omission.

Source:Laws 1963, c. 192, § 1, p. 638.


Annotations

35-108. Volunteer fire and rescue personnel; group life insurance; municipality or district; purchase; maintain; coverage termination.

The governing body of any incorporated municipality having a volunteer fire department or the board of directors of each rural or suburban fire protection district shall purchase and maintain in force a policy of group term life insurance to age sixty-five covering the lives of all of its active volunteer fire and rescue personnel, except that when any such person serves more than one municipality or district such policy shall be purchased only by the first municipality or district which he or she serves. Such policy shall provide a minimum death benefit of ten thousand dollars for death from any cause and shall, at the option of the insured, be convertible to a permanent form of life insurance at age sixty-five. The coverage of such policy shall terminate as to any individual who ceases to be an active volunteer member of the fire department of the municipality or district.

Source:Laws 1971, LB 750, § 1; Laws 1973, LB 249, § 1; Laws 2003, LB 167, § 1.    


35-109. Sirens; restriction on use.

No siren or other similar device whose primary purpose is to warn the public of a natural or manmade emergency or disaster shall be used to notify volunteer firefighters of a fire or to summon volunteer firefighters to a fire. This section applies only to cities of the first class located within a county which contains a city of the metropolitan class.

Source:Laws 1997, LB 589, § 3.


35-201. Compact authorized.

The Governor of Nebraska may execute a compact on behalf of the state with any one or more states who may, by their legislative bodies, authorize a compact, in form substantially as follows:

ARTICLE I

The purpose of this compact is to promote effective prevention and control of forest fires in the great plains region of the United States by the maintenance of adequate forest fire fighting services by the member states, and by providing for reciprocal aid in fighting forest fires among the compacting states of the region, including South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, and any adjoining state of a current member state.

ARTICLE II

This compact is operative immediately as to those states ratifying it if any two or more of the member states have ratified it.

ARTICLE III

In each state, the state forester or officer holding the equivalent position who is responsible for forest fire control may act as compact administrator for that state and may consult with like officials of the other member states and may implement cooperation between the states in forest fire prevention and control. The compact administrators of the member states may organize to coordinate the services of the member states and provide administrative integration in carrying out the purposes of this compact. Each member state may formulate and put in effect a forest fire plan for that state.

ARTICLE IV

If the state forest fire control agency of a member state requests aid from the state forest fire control agency of any other member state in combating, controlling, or preventing forest fires, the state forest fire control agency of that state may render all possible aid to the requesting agency, consonant with the maintenance of protection at home.

ARTICLE V

If the forces of any member state are rendering outside aid pursuant to the request of another member state under this compact, the employees of the state shall, under the direction of the officers of the state to which they are rendering aid, have the same powers (except the power of arrest), duties, rights, privileges, and immunities as comparable employees of the state to which they are rendering aid.

No member state which provides outside aid pursuant to this compact shall be liable in any civil action to respond in damages as a result of acts or omissions arising out of and in the course of rendering outside aid, but such immunity from liability shall not extend to the operation of any motor vehicle in connection with such services. Nothing in this paragraph shall be deemed to grant any such immunity to any person causing damage by his or her gross negligence or willful or wanton conduct.

All liability, except as otherwise provided in this compact, that may arise either under the laws of the requesting state or under the laws of the aiding state or under the laws of a third state on account of or in connection with a request for aid, shall be assumed and borne by the requesting state.

Any member state rendering outside aid pursuant to this compact shall be reimbursed by the member state receiving the aid for any loss or damage to, or expense incurred in the operation of any equipment answering a request for aid, and for the cost of all materials, transportation, wages, salaries, and maintenance of employees and equipment incurred in connection with such request. However, nothing in this compact prevents any assisting member state from assuming such loss, damage, expense, or other cost or from loaning such equipment or from donating such services to the receiving member state without charge or cost.

Each member state shall assure that workers' compensation benefits in conformity with the minimum legal requirements of the state are available to all employees and contract firefighters sent to a requesting state pursuant to this compact.

For the purposes of this compact, the term employee includes any volunteer or auxiliary legally included within the forest fire fighting forces of the aiding state under the laws of the aiding state.

The compact administrators may formulate procedures for claims and reimbursement under the provisions of this article, in accordance with the laws of the member states.

ARTICLE VI

Ratification of this compact does not affect any existing statute so as to authorize or permit curtailment or diminution of the forest fire fighting forces, equipment, services, or facilities of any member state.

Nothing in the compact authorizes or permits any member state to curtail or diminish its forest fire fighting forces, equipment, services, or facilities. Each member state shall maintain adequate forest fire fighting forces and equipment to meet demands for forest fire protection within its borders in the same manner and to the same extent as if this compact were not operative.

Nothing in this compact limits or restricts the powers of any state ratifying the compact to provide for the prevention, control, and extinguishment of forest fires, or to prohibit the enactment or enforcement of state laws, rules, or regulations intended to aid in the prevention, control, and extinguishment in the state.

Nothing in this compact affects any existing or future cooperative relationship or arrangement between the United States Forest Service and a member state or states.

ARTICLE VII

Representatives of the United States Forest Service may attend meetings of the compact administrators.

ARTICLE VIII

The provisions of articles IV and V of this compact that relate to reciprocal aid in combating, controlling, or preventing forest fires are operative as between any state party to this compact and any other state which is party to this compact and any other state that is party to a regional forest fire protection compact in another region if the Legislature of the other state has given its assent to the mutual aid provisions of this compact.

ARTICLE IX

This compact shall continue in force and remain binding on each state ratifying it until the Legislature or the Governor of the state takes action to withdraw from the compact. Such action is not effective until six months after notice of the withdrawal has been sent by the chief executive of the state desiring to withdraw to the chief executives of all states then parties to the compact.

Source:Laws 2014, LB961, § 1.    


35-202. Volunteer firefighter; file certificate of insurance.

No Nebraska volunteer firefighter shall be dispatched on behalf of this state pursuant to the compact set forth in section 35-201 outside the boundaries of Nebraska unless such volunteer firefighter files with the Nebraska compact administrator a valid certificate of insurance covering him or her for workers' compensation benefits pursuant to the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act outside the boundaries of Nebraska.

Source:Laws 2014, LB961, § 2.    


Cross References

35-301. Repealed. Laws 1961, c. 284, § 1.

35-302. Paid fire departments; firefighters; hours of duty; alternating day schedule; agreement; restrictions.

Firefighters employed in the fire departments of cities having paid fire departments shall not be required to remain on duty for periods of time which will aggregate in each month more than an average of sixty hours per week. Each single-duty shift shall consist of twenty-four consecutive hours and shall be followed by an off-duty period as necessary to assure compliance with the requirements of this section unless by voluntary agreement between the city and the authorized collective-bargaining agent or, if there is no collective-bargaining unit, the firefighter, any firefighter may be permitted to work an additional period of consecutive time and may return to work after less than a twenty-four-hour off-duty period. Any firefighter may be assigned to work less than a twenty-four-hour shift, but in such event the firefighter shall not work in excess of forty hours per week unless otherwise provided by voluntary agreement between the city and the authorized collective-bargaining agent or, if there is no collective-bargaining unit, the firefighter. No agreement under this section shall allow a firefighter who is scheduled to work less than a twenty-four-hour shift and who holds the rank of fire chief or works as an immediate subordinate to a fire chief to fill temporary vacancies created by the absence of a firefighter who is assigned to work a twenty-four-hour shift and who holds a rank lower than fire chief. No firefighter shall be required to perform any work or service as such firefighter during any period in which he or she is off duty except in cases of extraordinary conflagration or emergencies or job-related court appearances.

Source:Laws 1953, c. 119, § 1(2), p. 377; Laws 1963, c. 196, § 1, p. 642; Laws 1971, LB 773, § 1; Laws 1979, LB 80, § 101; Laws 2009, LB537, § 1.    


Annotations

35-401. Repealed. Laws 1949, c. 98, § 19.

35-402. Repealed. Laws 1949, c. 98, § 19.

35-403. Repealed. Laws 1949, c. 98, § 19.

35-404. Repealed. Laws 1949, c. 98, § 19.

35-405. Repealed. Laws 1949, c. 98, § 19.

35-406. Repealed. Laws 1949, c. 98, § 19.

35-407. Repealed. Laws 1949, c. 98, § 19.

35-408. Repealed. Laws 1949, c. 98, § 19.

35-409. Repealed. Laws 1949, c. 98, § 19.

35-501. Rural and suburban fire protection districts; organization; necessity.

It is recognized, found, and declared: (1) That it is in the public interest to encourage residents and property owners in rural and suburban areas in the state to organize, equip, and maintain local firefighting bodies corporate and politic for the purpose of providing the same type of protection of their lives and property against loss or destruction by fire as is available to residents of incorporated cities and villages; and (2) that the organization and establishment of adequately equipped and maintained local bodies corporate and politic for such purposes will promote the public health, convenience, safety, and welfare through the preservation and protection of lives and resources in rural and suburban areas in the state.

Source:Laws 1949, c. 98, § 1, p. 262; Laws 1955, c. 128, § 1, p. 363.


Annotations

35-502. District; organization; conversion from rural to suburban fire protection district; conditions.

(1) In order to provide for the protection of lives and property in rural and suburban areas against loss or damage by fire, more than fifty percent of the registered voters residing in the following are hereby authorized and empowered to initiate the formation of rural or suburban fire protection districts under the conditions specified in this section:

(a)(i) Any territory in the State of Nebraska equivalent in area to one township or more which is situated outside the corporate limits of any city or village; or

(ii) Any area of less than one township which is surrounded by rural or suburban fire protection districts; or

(b) Any area situated in the State of Nebraska outside the corporate limits of any city or village in which there are at least two hundred homes and which has a taxable valuation of at least two million eight hundred sixty thousand dollars.

(2) Such districts shall be organized in the manner provided by sections 35-501 to 35-517. If the district is organized in an area set forth in subdivision (1)(a) of this section, it shall be a rural fire protection district and references in such sections to rural fire protection districts shall refer to such a district. If the district is organized in an area set forth in subdivision (1)(b) of this section, it shall be a suburban fire protection district and references in such sections to a suburban fire protection district shall refer to such a district. Unless the context indicates otherwise, district, when used in such sections, shall refer to either a rural or suburban fire protection district, as the case may be.

(3) Any rural fire protection district which has been duly organized under Chapter 35, which has within its boundaries at least two hundred homes, and which has a taxable valuation of at least two million eight hundred sixty thousand dollars is hereby authorized and empowered to convert to a suburban fire protection district in the manner provided by section 35-519.

(4) Beginning July 1, 1998, no new rural or suburban fire protection district shall be formed except by merger or reorganization of two or more existing rural or suburban fire protection districts.

Source:Laws 1939, c. 38, § 1, p. 192; C.S.Supp.,1941, § 35-601; R.S.1943, § 35-401; Laws 1949, c. 98, § 2, p. 262; Laws 1955, c. 128, § 2, p. 363; Laws 1959, c. 144, § 1, p. 554; Laws 1972, LB 849, § 1; Laws 1979, LB 187, § 148; Laws 1990, LB 918, § 1; Laws 1992, LB 719A, § 129; Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 8.


Annotations

35-503. Repealed. Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 33.

35-504. Repealed. Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 33.

35-505. Repealed. Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 33.

35-506. District; vote on organization; officers; terms; compensation.

(1) After formation of a district by merger or reorganization under section 35-517, at the time and place fixed by the county board for public hearing as provided in section 35-514, the registered voters who are residing within the boundaries of the district shall have the opportunity to decide by majority vote of those present whether the organization of the district shall be completed. Permanent organization shall be effected by the election of a board of directors consisting of five residents of the district. Such directors shall at the first regular meeting after their election select from the board a president, a vice president, and a secretary-treasurer who shall serve as the officers of the board of directors for one year. The board shall reorganize itself annually. The elected member of the board of directors receiving the highest number of votes in the election shall preside over the first regular meeting until the officers of such board have been selected. The three members receiving the highest number of votes shall serve for a term of four years and the other two members for a term of two years; and this provision shall apply to directors elected at the organizational meeting of the district.

(2) The board shall reorganize itself annually. Election of directors of existing districts shall be held by the registered voters present at the regular annual meeting provided for in section 35-507 which is held in the calendar year during which the terms of directors are scheduled to expire. As the terms of these members expire, their successors shall be elected for four years and hold office until their successors have been elected. If the district contains more than one township, each township may be represented on the board of directors unless there are more than five townships within the district, and in such event there shall be only five directors on the board and no township shall have more than one member elected to such board of directors. In case of a vacancy on account of resignation, death, malfeasance, or nonfeasance of a member, the remaining members of the board shall fill the vacancy for the unexpired term. The person appointed to fill the vacancy shall be from the same area as the person whose office is vacated, if possible, otherwise from the district at large.

(3) The members of the board of directors of a rural or suburban fire protection district may receive up to twenty-five dollars for each meeting of the board, but not to exceed twelve meetings in any calendar year, and reimbursement for any actual expenses necessarily incurred as a direct result of their responsibilities and duties as members of the board engaged upon the business of the district. When it is necessary for any member of the board of directors to travel on business of the district and to attend meetings of the district, he or she shall be allowed mileage at the rate provided in section 81-1176 for each mile actually and necessarily traveled.

Source:Laws 1939, c. 38, § 4, p. 193; C.S.Supp.,1941, § 35-604; R.S.1943, § 35-404; Laws 1949, c. 98, § 6, p. 264; Laws 1967, c. 208, § 1, p. 567; Laws 1969, c. 283, § 1, p. 1051; Laws 1969, c. 257, § 36, p. 950; Laws 1981, LB 204, § 56; Laws 1995, LB 756, § 1; Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 9.


35-507. District; meeting; when held.

A regular meeting of the registered voters who are residing within the boundaries of a district shall be held at the time of the budget hearing as provided by the Nebraska Budget Act, and special meetings may be called by the board of directors at any time. Notice of a meeting shall be given by the secretary-treasurer by one publication in a legal newspaper of general circulation in each county in which such district is situated. Notice of the place and time of a meeting shall be published at least five days prior to the date set for meeting.

Source:Laws 1949, c. 98, § 7, p. 265; Laws 1971, LB 713, § 1; Laws 1992, LB 1063, § 34; Laws 1992, Second Spec. Sess., LB 1, § 34; Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 10.


Cross References

35-508. District; directors; powers.

The board of directors shall have the following general powers:

(1) To determine a general fire protection and rescue program for the district;

(2) To make an annual estimate of the probable expense for carrying out such program;

(3) To annually certify such estimate to the county clerk in the manner provided by section 35-509;

(4) To manage and conduct the business affairs of the district;

(5) To make and execute contracts in the name of and on behalf of the district;

(6) To buy real estate when needed for the district and to sell real estate of the district when the district has no further use for it;

(7) To purchase or lease such firefighting and rescue equipment, supplies, and other real or personal property as necessary and proper to carry out the general fire protection and rescue program of the district;

(8) To incur indebtedness on behalf of the district;

(9) To authorize the issuance of evidences of the indebtedness permitted under subdivision (8) of this section and to pledge any real or personal property owned or acquired by the district as security for the same;

(10) To organize, establish, equip, maintain, and supervise a paid, volunteer, or combination paid and volunteer fire department or company to serve the district and to establish a service award benefit program pursuant to the Volunteer Emergency Responders Recruitment and Retention Act;

(11) To employ and compensate such personnel as necessary to carry out the general fire protection and rescue program of the district;

(12) To authorize the execution of a contract with the Game and Parks Commission or a public power district for fire protection of property of the commission or public power district located in or adjacent to the rural or suburban fire protection district;

(13)(a) If the rural or suburban fire protection district has levy authority pursuant to subsection (10) of section 77-3442, to levy a tax not to exceed ten and one-half cents on each one hundred dollars in any one year upon the taxable value of all taxable property within such district for the purpose of establishing a sinking fund, which shall be in addition to the amount of tax which may be annually levied to defray the general and incidental expenses of such district. The sinking fund shall be for the construction, purchase, improvement, extension, original equipment, or repair, not including maintenance, of district buildings to house equipment or personal belongings of a fire department, for the purchase of firefighting and rescue equipment or apparatus, for the acquisition of any land incidental to such purposes, or for payment of principal and interest on any evidence of indebtedness issued pursuant to subdivisions (8) and (9) of this section. The levy authorized in this subdivision shall be subject to subsection (10) of section 77-3442; and

(b) If the rural or suburban fire protection district does not have levy authority pursuant to subsection (10) of section 77-3442, to levy a tax not to exceed ten and one-half cents on each one hundred dollars in any one year upon the taxable value of all taxable property within such district, subject to section 77-3443, for the purpose of establishing a sinking fund, which shall be in addition to the amount of tax which may be annually levied to defray the general and incidental expenses of such district. The sinking fund shall be for the construction, purchase, improvement, extension, original equipment, or repair, not including maintenance, of district buildings to house equipment or personal belongings of a fire department, for the purchase of firefighting and rescue equipment or apparatus, for the acquisition of any land incidental to such purposes, or for payment of principal and interest on any evidence of indebtedness issued pursuant to subdivisions (8) and (9) of this section. For purposes of section 77-3443, the county board of the county in which the greatest portion of the valuation of the district is located shall approve the levy;

(14) To adopt and enforce fire codes and establish penalties at annual meetings, except that the code must be available prior to annual meetings and notice shall so provide; and

(15) Generally to perform all acts necessary to fully carry out the purposes of sections 35-501 to 35-517.

Source:Laws 1949, c. 98, § 8, p. 265; Laws 1953, c. 120, § 1, p. 378; Laws 1967, c. 209, § 1, p. 568; Laws 1967, c. 210, § 1, p. 570; Laws 1971, LB 583, § 2; Laws 1971, LB 691, § 1; Laws 1972, LB 849, § 2; Laws 1975, LB 375, § 1; Laws 1979, LB 187, § 149; Laws 1985, LB 308, 1; Laws 1986, LB 831, § 1; Laws 1990, LB 918, § 2; Laws 1992, LB 719A, § 130; Laws 1996, LB 1114, § 54; Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 11; Laws 1999, LB 849, § 31;    Laws 2015, LB325, § 3.    


Cross References

Annotations

35-509. District; budget; tax to support; limitation; how levied; county treasurer; duties.

(1) The board of directors shall have the power and duty to determine a general fire protection and rescue policy for the district and shall annually fix the amount of money for the proposed budget statement as may be deemed sufficient and necessary in carrying out such contemplated program for the ensuing fiscal year, including the amount of principal and interest upon the indebtedness of the district for the ensuing year.

(2)(a) For any rural or suburban fire protection district that has levy authority pursuant to subsection (10) of section 77-3442, after the adoption of the budget statement, the president and secretary of the district shall certify the amount of tax to be levied which the district requires for the adopted budget statement for the ensuing year to the proper county clerk or county clerks on or before August 1 of each year. The county board shall levy a tax not to exceed ten and one-half cents on each one hundred dollars upon the taxable value of all the taxable property in such district for the maintenance of the fire protection district for the fiscal year, plus such levy as is authorized to be made under subdivision (13)(a) of section 35-508, all such levies being subject to subsection (10) of section 77-3442. The tax shall be collected as other taxes are collected in the county, deposited with the county treasurer, and placed to the credit of the rural or suburban fire protection district so authorizing the same on or before the fifteenth day of each month or more frequently as provided in section 77-1759 or be remitted to the county treasurer of the county in which the greatest portion of the valuation of the district is located as is provided for by subsection (3) of this section.

(b) For any rural or suburban fire protection district that does not have levy authority pursuant to subsection (10) of section 77-3442, after the adoption of the budget statement, the president and secretary of the district shall certify the amount of tax to be levied which the district requires for the adopted budget statement for the ensuing year to the proper county clerk or county clerks on or before August 1 of each year. The county board shall levy a tax not to exceed ten and one-half cents on each one hundred dollars upon the taxable value of all the taxable property in such district for the maintenance of the fire protection district for the fiscal year, plus such levy as is authorized to be made under subdivision (13)(b) of section 35-508, all such levies being subject to section 77-3443. The tax shall be collected as other taxes are collected in the county, deposited with the county treasurer, and placed to the credit of the rural or suburban fire protection district so authorizing the same on or before the fifteenth day of each month or more frequently as provided in section 77-1759 or be remitted to the county treasurer of the county in which the greatest portion of the valuation of the district is located as is provided for by subsection (3) of this section. For purposes of section 77-3443, the county board of the county in which the greatest portion of the valuation of the district is located shall approve the levy.

(3) All such taxes collected or received for the district by the treasurer of any other county than the one in which the greatest portion of the valuation of the district is located shall be remitted to the treasurer of the county in which the greatest portion of the valuation of the district is located at least quarterly. All such taxes collected or received shall be placed to the credit of such district in the treasury of the county in which the greatest portion of the valuation of the district is located.

(4) In no case shall the amount of tax levy exceed the amount of funds to be received from taxation according to the adopted budget statement of the district.

Source:Laws 1939, c. 38, § 5, p. 193; C.S.Supp.,1941, § 35-605; R.S.1943, § 35-405; Laws 1947, c. 128, § 1, p. 368; Laws 1949, c. 98, § 9, p. 266; Laws 1953, c. 121, § 1, p. 383; Laws 1953, c. 287, § 54, p. 962; Laws 1955, c. 127, § 1, p. 360; Laws 1955, c. 128, § 4, p. 365; Laws 1969, c. 145, § 34, p. 693; Laws 1972, LB 849, § 3; Laws 1975, LB 375, § 2; Laws 1979, LB 187, § 150; Laws 1990, LB 918, § 3; Laws 1992, LB 719A, § 131; Laws 1996, LB 1114, § 55; Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 12; Laws 2007, LB334, § 5;    Laws 2015, LB325, § 4.    


35-509.01. District; secretary-treasurer; bond; amount; premium; failure to furnish; effect.

The secretary-treasurer of each district shall, within ten days after his or her election, execute to the county and file with the county clerk a bond of not less than two thousand dollars in any instance nor less than the amount of money, as nearly as can be ascertained, to come into his or her hands as secretary-treasurer at any one time, with a surety company or companies of recognized responsibility as surety or sureties, to be approved by the president of such district, conditioned for the faithful discharge of the duties of his or her office. The premium on the bond shall be paid by the district. The bond when approved shall be filed in the office of the county clerk of the county in which the rural or suburban fire protection district is situated. If the district is located in two or more counties, such bond shall be filed in the office of the county clerk of the county in which the greatest portion of the valuation of the district is located. If the secretary-treasurer fails to execute such bond, his or her office shall be declared vacant by the board, and the board shall immediately appoint a secretary-treasurer, who shall be subject to the same conditions and possess the same powers as if elected to that office. The secretary-treasurer shall have no power or authority to withdraw or disburse the money of the district prior to his or her filing the bond required in this section.

Source:Laws 1953, c. 121, § 2, p. 384; Laws 1955, c. 128, § 5, p. 366; Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 13.


35-510. Repealed. Laws 1975, LB 375, § 3.

35-511. District funds; where deposited; how disbursed; annual report.

All donations, contributions, bequests, annuities, or borrowed money received by or on behalf of the district shall be deposited with the secretary-treasurer of the district and shall be drawn out only upon proper check. Such check shall be authorized by the board of directors and shall bear the signature of the secretary-treasurer and the countersignature of the president of such district. The secretary-treasurer of the district shall, at each annual public meeting of the district, present a financial report concerning the affairs of the district.

Source:Laws 1939, c. 38, § 7, p. 193; C.S.Supp.,1941, § 35-607; R.S.1943, § 35-407; Laws 1949, c. 98, § 11, p. 267; Laws 1993, LB 516, § 3; Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 14.


35-512. Districts; warrants; amount authorized; rate of interest.

All warrants for payment of any indebtedness of a rural fire protection district which are unpaid for want of funds shall bear interest at a rate specified by the issuing district and endorsed on the warrant, from the date of the registering of such unpaid warrants with the county treasurer; Provided, that the amount of such warrants does not exceed the revenue provided for the year in which the indebtedness was incurred.

Source:Laws 1939, c. 38, § 9, p. 194; C.S.Supp.,1941, § 35-609; R.S.1943, § 35-409; Laws 1949, c. 98, § 12, p. 267; Laws 1969, c. 51, § 102, p. 336.


35-513. Districts; consolidation; contracts for fire protection; cities and villages; power to contract; service award benefit program; authorized.

(1) Any rural or suburban fire protection district may elect to enter into a contract with another rural or suburban fire protection district to consolidate or cooperate for mutual fire protection and prevention purposes, or may enter into a contract with an incorporated city or village for fire protection service or fire protection cooperation, upon terms suitable to all concerned, and power to make such contracts is hereby conferred upon such city or village in addition to such other powers as have been heretofore provided by law.

(2) A rural or suburban fire protection district may establish a service award benefit program pursuant to the Volunteer Emergency Responders Recruitment and Retention Act and may appropriate and expend funds for the cost of any such program for volunteer members of a volunteer department of a city of the first or second class or village or other rural or suburban fire protection district with which the district has a contract for emergency response services.

Source:Laws 1939, c. 38, § 8, p. 194; C.S.Supp.,1941, § 35-608; R.S.1943, § 35-408; Laws 1949, c. 98, § 13, p. 267; Laws 1955, c. 128, § 7, p. 367; Laws 1999, LB 849, § 32.    


Cross References

35-513.01. Repealed. Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 33.

35-513.02. Repealed. Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 33.

35-513.03. Repealed. Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 33.

35-513.04. Repealed. Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 33.

35-513.05. Repealed. Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 33.

35-514. District; annexation of territory; procedure.

(1) Any territory which is outside the limits of any incorporated city may be annexed to an adjacent district in the manner provided in this section, whether or not the territory is in an existing rural or suburban fire protection district.

(2) The proceedings for the annexation may be initiated by either (a) the presentation to the county clerk of a petition signed by sixty percent or more of the registered voters who are residing within the boundaries of the territory to be annexed stating the desires and purposes of such petitioners or (b) the presentation to the county clerk of certified copies of resolutions passed by the board of directors of the annexing district and any other district from which the property would be annexed supporting the proposed annexation. The petition or resolutions shall contain a description of the boundaries of the territory proposed to be annexed. The petition or resolutions shall be accompanied by a map or plat and a deposit for publication costs.

(3) The county clerk shall verify the petition as provided in section 32-631 and determine and certify whether or not such petition or resolution complies with the requirements of subsection (2) of this section and that the persons signing the petition appear to reside at the addresses indicated by such petition. Thereafter, the county clerk shall forward any petition, map or plat, and certificate to the board of directors of the districts concerned.

(4) Within thirty days after receiving the petition, map or plat, and certificate of the county clerk, in accordance with subsection (3) of this section, from the county clerk, the board of directors of all affected districts shall transmit the same to the proper county board, accompanied by a report in writing approving or disapproving the proposal contained in the petition, or approving such proposal in part and disapproving it in part. If the annexation is proposed by resolutions of the affected districts, the resolutions shall be transmitted to the proper county board.

(5) The county board shall promptly designate a time and place for a hearing upon the annexation. Notice of such hearing shall be given by publication two weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county, the last publication appearing at least seven days prior to the hearing. The notice shall be addressed to "all registered voters residing in the following boundaries" and shall include a description of the proposed boundaries as set forth in the petition or resolutions. At such hearing, any person shall have the opportunity to be heard respecting the proposed annexation.

(6) The county board shall, within forty-five days after the hearing referred to in subsection (5) of this section, determine whether such territory should be annexed and shall fix the boundaries of the territory to be annexed. No annexation shall be approved which would leave any district with less than the minimum valuation of two million eight hundred sixty thousand dollars. The determination of the county board shall be set forth in a written order which shall describe the boundaries determined upon and shall be filed in the office of the county clerk.

(7) Any area annexed from a rural or suburban fire protection district, except areas duly incorporated within the boundaries of a municipality, shall be subject to assessment and be otherwise chargeable for the payment and discharge of all the obligations of the rural or suburban fire protection district outstanding at the time of the filing of the petition or resolution for the annexation of the area as fully as though the area had not been annexed. All procedures which could be used to compel the annexed area, except for areas duly incorporated within the boundaries of a municipality, to pay its portion of the outstanding obligations had the annexation not occurred may be used to compel such payment. Areas duly incorporated within the boundaries of a municipality shall be automatically annexed from the boundaries of the district notwithstanding the provisions of section 31-766 and shall not be subject to further tax levy or other charges by the district, except that before the annexation is complete, the municipality shall assume and pay that portion of all outstanding obligations of the district which would otherwise constitute an obligation of the area annexed or incorporated. An area annexed from a rural or suburban fire protection district shall not be subject to assessment or otherwise chargeable for any obligation of any nature or kind incurred by the district after the annexation of the area from the district.

Source:Laws 1949, c. 98, § 14, p. 268; Laws 1953, c. 120, § 2, p. 379; Laws 1955, c. 128, § 9, p. 368; Laws 1957, c. 136, § 1, p. 454; Laws 1981, LB 310, § 1; Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 15.


Annotations

35-514.01. Repealed. Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 33.

35-514.02. Emergency medical or fire protection service; contract; agreement; notice; hearing; cost; levy; limitation.

(1) A rural or suburban fire protection district may establish an emergency medical service, including the provision of scheduled or unscheduled ambulance service, or provide fire protection service either within or without the district, may enter into agreements under the Interlocal Cooperation Act and the Joint Public Agency Act for the purpose of establishing an emergency medical service or providing fire protection service, may contract with any city, person, firm, corporation, or other fire protection district to provide such services, may expend funds of the district, and may charge a reasonable fee to the user. Before any such services are established under the authority of this section, the rural or suburban fire protection district shall hold a public hearing after giving at least ten days' notice, which notice shall include a brief summary of the general plan for establishing the emergency medical service or providing fire protection service, including an estimate of the initial cost and the possible continuing cost of operating the emergency medical service or fire protection service. If the board after such hearing determines that an emergency medical service or fire protection service is needed, it may proceed as authorized in this section. The authority granted in this section shall be cumulative and supplementary to any existing powers heretofore granted.

(2) Any fire protection district providing any service under this section may pay the cost for the service out of available funds or may levy a tax for the purpose of supporting an emergency medical service or providing fire protection service, which levy shall be in addition to any other tax for such fire protection district and shall be subject to (a) subsection (10) of section 77-3442 if the fire protection district has levy authority pursuant to subsection (10) of section 77-3442 or (b) section 77-3443 if the fire protection district does not have levy authority pursuant to subsection (10) of section 77-3442.

(3) When a fire protection district levies a tax for the purpose of supporting an emergency medical service, the taxpayers of such district shall be exempt from any tax levied under section 13-303.

(4) The board of a fire protection district which provides fire protection service outside of the district may charge a political subdivision with which the district has entered into an agreement for such service on a per-call basis for such service.

Source:Laws 1967, c. 205, § 2, p. 562; Laws 1978, LB 560, § 3; Laws 1988, LB 1159, § 1; Laws 1996, LB 1114, § 56; Laws 1997, LB 138, § 37; Laws 1999, LB 87, § 69;    Laws 2001, LB 808, § 4;    Laws 2015, LB325, § 5.    


Cross References

35-515. Repealed. Laws 1959, c. 130, § 5.

35-516. District; boundaries; change; procedure; merger.

(1) The boundaries of any rural or suburban fire protection district organized under sections 35-501 to 35-517 may be changed in the manner prescribed by section 35-514, but the changes of boundaries of any such district shall not impair or affect its organization or its right in or to property; nor shall it impair, affect, or discharge any contract, obligation, lien, or charge for or upon which it might be liable had such change of boundaries not been made.

(2) Any two or more rural or suburban fire protection districts may be merged by petition or resolution in the manner prescribed for annexation by section 35-514, and the resulting district shall succeed to all rights and property and be subject to any contracts, obligations, liens, or charges of the districts so merged.

Source:Laws 1949, c. 98, § 16, p. 270; Laws 1955, c. 128, § 10, p. 369; Laws 1961, c. 167, § 2, p. 499; Laws 1963, c. 197, § 1, p. 644; Laws 1996, LB 1085, § 50; Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 16.


Annotations

35-516.01. Repealed. Laws 1959, c. 130, § 5.

35-517. District; boundaries; county board; duties.

(1) The county board shall set the boundaries of all rural or suburban fire protection districts in the county so that all areas within the county which are not within the incorporated areas of cities and villages are included within a rural or suburban fire protection district.

(2) By July 1 of the year following the dissolution of any rural or suburban fire protection district, the county board shall set the boundaries of all remaining rural and suburban fire protection districts so that all areas within the county which are not within the incorporated areas of cities and villages are included within a rural or suburban fire protection district.

(3) Any county may set the boundaries of all rural and suburban fire protection districts which have the greatest portion of their valuation in such county so that the highest levy of a rural or suburban fire protection district is no more than two times the average levy of all rural and suburban fire protection districts which have the greatest portion of their valuation in such county based on the property tax request or levy and associated valuation for the current fiscal year. For purposes of this subsection, each county shall examine the property tax request or levy of each rural or suburban fire protection district in the county for all purposes except bonded indebtedness for the current fiscal year and lease-purchase contracts in existence on July 1, 1998, as compared to the valuation for the tax year against which the levy was imposed. If one or more fire protection districts do not meet the standard required by this subsection for the current year, boundaries may be relocated to place more valuation in the high levy districts and less in the low levy districts so that the standard is met. If any district is to be eliminated by the county to meet the standard, the property tax request or levy for the current fiscal year will be assumed to be transferred to the other districts which are to be in the territory of the eliminated district in proportion to the valuation transferred to such districts for purposes of compliance with the standard, the district shall be deemed to be dissolved, and the obligations and assets of the district shall be disposed of as provided in section 35-521. For purposes of this subsection, the average levy of all rural and suburban fire protection districts means the total taxes levied by all rural and suburban fire protection districts in a county which have the greatest portion of their valuation in such county divided by the total taxable valuation of all such districts.

(4) Before May 1 of the year in which any change in boundaries allowed or required under this section is to be effective, the county board shall forthwith designate a time and place for a hearing before the county board of such county and shall give due notice thereof in the manner prescribed by section 35-514. The hearing shall be prior to June 1. At the time and place so fixed the county board shall meet and all persons interested shall have opportunity to be heard. Thereupon, the county board shall consider the general rural fire protection policy for the county as a whole and shall determine the boundaries of the district or districts, whether as existing prior to such determination or otherwise, and shall make a written order of such determination which shall be filed in the office of the county clerk by July 1 of the year in which any change in boundaries under this section is to be effective. If all rural and suburban fire protection districts in a county which have the greatest portion of their valuation in such county agree to a change in boundaries and submit a proposal to change boundaries to the county board prior to the hearing, the county shall adopt the proposal unless it finds that the proposal is not consistent with the fire protection policy in the county as a whole or does not result in levies which comply with the standard described in this section. Thereafter, such reorganized district or districts shall be deemed to be organized and operating under sections 35-501 to 35-517. Nothing herein contained shall impair, affect, or discharge any previously existing contract, obligation, lien, or charge of the district or districts.

Source:Laws 1949, c. 98, § 17, p. 270; Laws 1995, LB 589, § 8; Laws 1996, LB 1085, § 51; Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 17; Laws 2015, LB325, § 6.    


35-518. District; contract for protection with counties of adjoining state; terms; damages.

Any rural or suburban fire protection district may enter into contracts on an annual or other basis with any rural fire protection district of an adjoining county or counties of another state having a general fire protection program or firefighting equipment under the control of the fire protection district for the fire protection services or fire protection cooperation. All such contracts shall be upon terms suitable to all concerned. The terms and conditions upon and in compliance with which each district is to cooperate in furnishing, maintaining, and operating fire equipment for outside aid, mutual aid, or making payment for such service shall be expressly stipulated. The secretary-treasurer of the fire protection district is authorized to pay over money to the treasurer or other proper officer of the fire protection district in an adjoining state authorized to receive the same in accordance with the terms of the contract and upon the order of the board of directors. Any fire protection district, department, company, or firefighters answering any fire alarm or performing fire prevention services or rescue, resuscitation, first-aid, inspection, or any other official work outside its state and within a rural or suburban fire protection district organized under the provisions of Chapter 35, article 5, shall be considered an agent of the rural or suburban fire protection district located in the State of Nebraska, and acting solely and alone in a governmental capacity, and such rural or suburban fire protection district located in another state shall not be liable in damages for any act of commission, omission, or negligence while answering or returning from any fire, or reported fire, or doing or performing any fire prevention work or rescue, resuscitation, first-aid, inspection, or other official work.

Source:Laws 1955, c. 128, § 13, p. 372; Laws 1979, LB 80, § 102.


35-519. Rural fire protection district; conversion to suburban fire protection district; procedure; effect.

(1) Whenever it is desired and proposed to convert a duly organized rural fire protection district to a suburban fire protection district as authorized by section 35-502, such conversion may be accomplished in the manner provided in this section.

(2) The board of directors of such district shall adopt by majority vote of all the directors thereof a resolution setting forth the proposal to convert such district to a suburban fire protection district. Such resolution shall then be submitted to the electors of the district for approval at a regular meeting or a special meeting thereof called for that purpose after due notice of such regular or special meeting and of the proposal for conversion has been given in the manner prescribed by section 35-507.

(3) If such resolution for conversion is approved by a majority vote of the electors present and voting at such meeting, the secretary-treasurer of the district shall prepare a certified copy of the resolution, shall certify that the resolution was duly adopted by the board of directors of the district and approved by a majority vote of the electors thereof, and shall forward the approved resolution to the county clerk of the county within which the district is located or, if such district is located within two or more counties, to the county clerk of the county within which the greater area of the district is situated. The secretary-treasurer of the district shall also deposit with the county clerk a sum sufficient to defray the expense of publishing the notices required.

(4) The county clerk shall then confer with the county clerk of any other county concerned and shall determine and certify that the district contains within its boundaries at least two hundred homes and has a taxable valuation of at least two million eight hundred sixty thousand dollars and shall thereafter designate a time and place for the proposal for conversion to be heard by the county board in which the district is located or, if the district is located within two or more counties, by a joint meeting of the county boards of the counties concerned. Notice of such hearing shall be given by publication two weeks in a newspaper of general circulation within each county in which the district is located, the last publication appearing at least seven days prior to the hearing.

(5) At the time and place so fixed, the county board or boards shall meet and all persons residing in or owning taxable property within the district shall have an opportunity to be heard respecting the proposal for conversion. Thereupon, the county board or boards shall determine whether the proposed conversion is suited to the general fire protection policy of the county or each of such counties as a whole and shall make a written order of such determination which shall be filed in the office of the county clerk of each county in which such district is located. If the order and determination approves such conversion, the district shall thereafter cease to be a rural fire protection district and shall become a suburban fire protection district. The conversion of any such rural fire protection district to a suburban fire protection district shall not impair or affect its right in or to property and shall not impair, affect, or discharge any contract, obligation, lien, or charge for or upon which it might be liable had such conversion not been made.

Source:Laws 1959, c. 144, § 2, p. 555; Laws 1979, LB 187, § 153; Laws 1992, LB 719A, § 134.


35-520. Rural fire protection district; false alarm; false report; violation; penalty.

Whoever willfully or maliciously shall raise a false alarm or false report of a fire in any rural fire protection district or any rural area within the State of Nebraska shall be guilty of a Class III misdemeanor.

Source:Laws 1963, c. 193, § 1, p. 638; Laws 1977, LB 40, § 170.


35-521. Rural or suburban fire protection district; dissolution; petition; election; disbursement of funds.

A petition seeking the dissolution of a rural or suburban fire protection district, signed by the registered voters of the district equal in number to ten percent of the number of registered voters, may be filed with the board of directors. If the board finds that all indebtedness of the district can be satisfied from funds on hand or to be received from the then current levy, it shall submit the question of dissolution to the registered voters of the district at the next annual rural or suburban fire protection district election. If a majority of those voting on the question vote in favor of such dissolution, the board of directors shall declare the district dissolved and certify such action to the county boards of the counties in which the district is located. After satisfying the outstanding indebtedness of the district, the secretary-treasurer of the district shall transfer to the county treasurers of the counties in which the district is situated any remaining funds of the district in the same proportion as the area of the district in each county bears to the total area of the district, and such funds shall be deposited in the general fund of the respective counties.

Source:Laws 1967, c. 206, § 1, p. 563; Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 18.


35-522. Rural or suburban fire protection district; inactive for five years; county board; dissolution.

When any rural or suburban fire protection district is inactive for a period of at least five years, as determined by resolution of the county board in which the greatest portion of the valuation of the district is located, the county board may order the district dissolved. The county board shall file copies of such order of dissolution with the county clerks and county treasurers of all counties in which such district is located. Upon receipt of such order, the county treasurer shall dispose of any remaining funds of such district in the manner provided by section 35-521.

Source:Laws 1967, c. 206, § 2, p. 564; Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 19.


35-523. Repealed. Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 33.

35-524. Repealed. Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 33.

35-525. Repealed. Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 33.

35-526. Repealed. Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 33.

35-527. Repealed. Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 33.

35-528. Repealed. Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 33.

35-529. Rural or suburban fire protection district; radio equipment; purchase; reimbursement.

The materiel administrator of the Department of Administrative Services is authorized to purchase radio equipment for any rural or suburban fire protection district when requested by the district. The district shall reimburse the state for the cost of any equipment so purchased for it.

Source:Laws 1969, c. 280, § 1, p. 1048; Laws 2000, LB 654, § 2.    


Cross References

35-530. Territory within village or city; inclusion within district; procedure.

The territory within the incorporated area of any village or city may be included within a rural or suburban fire protection district pursuant to sections 35-530 to 35-536.

Source:Laws 1978, LB 907, § 1; Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 20.


35-531. Inclusion; procedure.

The proceedings for the inclusion referred to in section 35-530 may be initiated by (1) the presentation to the county clerk of a petition signed by sixty percent or more of the registered voters who are residing within the boundaries of the territory to be included stating the desires and purposes of such petitioners or (2) adoption by a majority vote of a joint resolution or ordinance by the board of directors of the district and the city council or village board. The petition or joint resolution or ordinance shall contain a description of the boundaries of the territory proposed to be included and it shall be accompanied by a map or plat and a deposit for publications costs.

Source:Laws 1978, LB 907, § 2; Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 21.


35-532. Inclusion; county clerk; duties.

The county clerk shall verify the petition as provided in section 32-631 and determine and certify whether or not such petition or joint resolution or ordinance complies with the requirements of section 35-531 and that the persons signing the petition appear to reside within the boundaries described by such petition. Thereafter, the county clerk shall forward such petition, map or plat, and certificate to the board of directors of the district and the village board or city council affected by such inclusion. If the inclusion proposed is by joint resolution or ordinance, the county clerk shall transmit the joint resolution or ordinance and map or plat to the county board for a hearing under section 35-533.

Source:Laws 1978, LB 907, § 3; Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 22.


35-533. Inclusion; map or plat; certificate; report; transmitted to county board; duties; district in more than one county; hearing; boundaries; determination.

(1) Within thirty days after receiving the petition, map or plat, and certificate of the county clerk, in accordance with section 35-532, the board of directors of the district and the city council or village board shall transmit the petition, map or plat, and certificate to the proper county board, accompanied by a report in writing approving or disapproving the proposal contained in the petition, or approving such proposal in part and disapproving it in part.

(2) Within thirty days after receiving the resolution or ordinance, map or plat, and certificate of the county clerk, the board of directors of the district and the city council or village board shall transmit the resolution or ordinance, map or plat, and certificate to the proper county board.

(3) If the proposed district will be situated within two or more counties, the county clerk of the county in which the largest number of petitioners have signed or, in the case of a joint resolution or ordinance, the county containing the greatest number of registered voters, shall confer with the clerk or clerks of the other county or counties concerned and shall obtain a certificate as to the adequacy of the petitions, resolutions, or ordinances pertaining to such county or counties, and thereafter he or she shall designate a time and place for a hearing before a joint meeting of the county boards of all counties in which the proposed district is to be situated. Notice of such hearing shall be given by publication two weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county, the last publication appearing at least seven days prior to the hearing. The notice shall be addressed to "all registered voters residing in the following boundaries" and shall include a description of the proposed boundaries as set forth in the petition, resolution, or ordinance. At the time and place so fixed, the county board or boards shall meet and all persons shall have an opportunity to be heard respecting the inclusion or the location of the boundaries of the district. Within forty-five days after such hearing, the county board or boards shall determine whether the proposed district is suited to the general fire protection policy of the county, or each of such counties, as a whole, determine the boundaries of the proposed district, and make a written order of such determination which shall describe the boundaries of the district and be filed in the office of the county clerk or clerks of each county in which such district is situated.

Source:Laws 1978, LB 907, § 4; Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 23.


35-534. Repealed. Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 33.

35-535. District; public meeting; board of directors.

After the filing of a written order by the county board pursuant to section 35-533, the county clerk shall then fix a time and place for a public meeting of all registered voters who are residing within the boundaries. A board of directors shall be elected as provided in section 35-506 and shall have the powers as provided in section 35-508.

Source:Laws 1978, LB 907, § 6; Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 24.


35-536. Merged district; statutes applicable.

Each rural or suburban fire protection district merged pursuant to sections 35-530 to 35-536 shall be subject to the provisions of sections 35-508, 35-509, 35-511, and 35-512. Such merged district shall operate under the same tax levy limit as a rural or suburban fire protection district.

Source:Laws 1978, LB 907, § 7; Laws 1979, LB 187, § 259; Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 25.


35-601. Emergency Firefighting Fund; created; use; investment.

There is hereby created the Emergency Firefighting Fund, to be used by the State Fire Marshal to assist in controlling and extinguishing wildland fires. Any money in the fund available for investment shall be invested by the state investment officer pursuant to the Nebraska Capital Expansion Act and the Nebraska State Funds Investment Act.

Source:Laws 1965, c. 190, § 1, p. 581; Laws 1969, c. 286, § 1, p. 1055; Laws 1969, c. 584, § 37, p. 2366; Laws 1995, LB 7, § 31.


Cross References

35-602. Emergency Firefighting Fund; State Fire Marshal; use; purpose.

Whenever the State Fire Marshal finds that conditions of extreme fire hazard exist he may use the proceeds of the Emergency Firefighting Fund for the purpose of preventing, controlling, or extinguishing any fires that are a hazard to state and private lands within the state.

Source:Laws 1965, c. 190, § 2, p. 581; Laws 1969, c. 286, § 2, p. 1055.


35-603. Emergency Firefighting Fund; agreements with federal government; purpose.

The State Fire Marshal may, for the purpose of maintaining a fire patrol in any timber, brush, grass, or other flammable vegetation or material, enter into cooperative agreements with the federal government under such terms as he deems advisable and may renew, revise and terminate such agreements. The expenses incurred under such agreements shall be paid from the Emergency Firefighting Fund or funds available for wildland fire protection.

Source:Laws 1965, c. 190, § 3, p. 581; Laws 1969, c. 286, § 3, p. 1055.


35-701. Repealed. Laws 1980, LB 724, § 8.

35-702. Repealed. Laws 1980, LB 724, § 8.

35-703. Repealed. Laws 1980, LB 724, § 8.

35-704. Repealed. Laws 1980, LB 724, § 8.

35-705. Repealed. Laws 1980, LB 724, § 8.

35-706. Repealed. Laws 1980, LB 724, § 8.

35-707. Repealed. Laws 1980, LB 724, § 8.

35-708. Repealed. Laws 1980, LB 724, § 8.

35-709. Repealed. Laws 1980, LB 724, § 8.

35-801. Clothing and equipment; prohibited acts; violation; penalty.

(1) No vendor or manufacturer shall knowingly transfer, sell, or offer for sale in this state to any fire department or firefighter any item of clothing or equipment designed and intended to protect firefighters from death or injury while fighting fires unless the item of clothing or equipment meets or exceeds the minimum standards established for such item of clothing or equipment by the National Fire Protection Association in effect at the time of such transfer, sale, or offer for sale.

(2) No fire department shall knowingly purchase and no fire department or firefighter shall knowingly accept from any vendor or manufacturer any item of clothing or equipment intended to protect firefighters from death or injury while fighting fires unless the item of clothing or equipment meets or exceeds the minimum standards established for such item of clothing or equipment by the National Fire Protection Association in effect at the time of such purchase or acceptance.

(3) Any person violating subsection (1) or (2) of this section shall be guilty of a Class III misdemeanor.

(4) For purposes of this section:

(a) Clothing or equipment shall not include station or work uniforms or other items of personal clothing worn or intended to be worn under protective clothing or equipment while fighting fires; and

(b) Fire department means any paid or volunteer fire department, company, association, or organization or first-aid, rescue, or emergency squad serving a city, village, county, township, or rural or suburban fire protection district or any other public or private fire department.

Source:Laws 1992, LB 27, § 1; Laws 1993, LB 67, § 1; Laws 2007, LB160, § 2.    


35-901. Volunteer departments; trust fund; established; use; public funds; restrictions; express authorization required; when; section, how construed; expenditures of public funds; procedure; gambling money; restrictions.

(1) For purposes of this section, volunteer department shall mean volunteer fire department or volunteer first-aid, rescue, or emergency squad or volunteer fire company serving any city, village, county, township, or rural or suburban fire protection district.

(2) Except as provided in subsection (4) of this section, each volunteer department may establish a volunteer department trust fund. All general donations or contributions, bequests, or annuities made to the volunteer department and all money raised by or for the volunteer department shall be deposited in the trust fund. The trust fund shall be under the control of the volunteer department, and the volunteer department may make expenditures from the trust fund as it deems necessary. The treasurer of the volunteer department shall be the custodian of the trust fund.

(3) The trust fund shall not be considered public funds or funds of any city, village, county, township, or rural or suburban fire protection district for any purpose, including the Nebraska Budget Act, nor shall any city, village, county, township, or rural or suburban fire protection district incur any liability solely by reason of any expenditure from such fund except liability for property when any city, village, county, township, or rural or suburban fire protection district receives title to property acquired with money from such fund.

(4)(a) If the total amount of expenditures and receipts in the trust fund exceeds one hundred thousand dollars in any twelve-month period, the volunteer department shall inform any city, village, county, township, or rural or suburban fire protection district receiving service from the department and such entity may examine or cause to be examined all books, accounts, vouchers, records, and expenditures with regard to the trust fund.

(b) Funds, fees, or charges solicited, collected, or received by a volunteer department that are (i) in consequence of the performance of fire or rescue services by the volunteer department at a given place and time, (ii) accomplished through the use by the volunteer department of equipment owned by the taxing authority supporting such department and provided to the volunteer department for that purpose, and (iii) paid by or on behalf of the recipient of those services shall not be deposited in a trust fund authorized by this section. Such funds are public funds of the taxing authority supporting the volunteer department and are deemed to have been collected by the volunteer department as the agent of the taxing authority and are held by the department on its behalf. If such funds are in the possession of a volunteer department, the taxing authority shall cause all the books, accounts, records, vouchers, expenditures, and statements regarding such funds to be examined and independently audited at the expense of the taxing authority by a qualified professional auditor or the Auditor of Public Accounts for the immediately preceding five years.

(5) Nothing in this section shall be construed or deemed to permit a violation of the Nebraska Liquor Control Act.

(6) All expenditures of public funds as defined in the Nebraska Budget Act for support of a volunteer department or its purposes shall be submitted as claims, approved by the taxing authority supporting such department or its purposes, and published as required by law. All such claims shall be properly itemized for proposed expenditure or reimbursement for costs already incurred and paid except as may be otherwise permitted pursuant to section 35-106.

(7) All money raised pursuant to the Nebraska Bingo Act, the Nebraska Lottery and Raffle Act, the Nebraska Pickle Card Lottery Act, and the Nebraska Small Lottery and Raffle Act shall be subject to such acts with respect to the deposit and expenditure of such money.

(8) No volunteer department shall solicit, charge, or collect any funds, fees, or charges as described in subdivision (4)(b) of this section without the express authorization of the taxing authority supporting the department by vote of a majority of the members of the governing body of such taxing authority. Such authorization shall not extend beyond a twelve-month period but may be renewed at the discretion of the taxing authority in the same manner in which it was initially granted. Upon collection or receipt, such funds, fees, or charges shall be remitted to the designated officer of the taxing authority for deposit to the account of the taxing authority.

(9) Funds, fees, or charges as described in subdivision (4)(b) of this section which are in the possession of the taxing authority shall be expended by such taxing authority solely (a) for the support of the emergency response activities of the volunteer department which gave rise to those funds, fees, or charges, (b) for charges directly related to the collection of those funds, fees, or charges, or (c) for the support of a service award benefit program adopted and conducted pursuant to the Volunteer Emergency Responders Recruitment and Retention Act.

Source:Laws 1993, LB 516, § 1; Laws 2008, LB1096, § 4;    Laws 2010, LB522, § 1.    


Cross References

35-1001. Death or disability as a result of cancer; death or disability as a result of certain diseases; prima facie evidence.

(1) For a firefighter or firefighter-paramedic who is a member of a paid fire department of a municipality or a rural or suburban fire protection district in this state, including a municipality having a home rule charter or a municipal authority created pursuant to a home rule charter that has its own paid fire department, and who suffers death or disability as a result of cancer, including, but not limited to, cancer affecting the skin or the central nervous, lymphatic, digestive, hematological, urinary, skeletal, oral, or prostate systems, evidence which demonstrates that (a) such firefighter or firefighter-paramedic successfully passed a physical examination upon entry into such service or subsequent to such entry, which examination failed to reveal any evidence of cancer, (b) such firefighter or firefighter-paramedic was exposed to a known carcinogen, as defined on July 19, 1996, by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, while in the service of the fire department, and (c) such carcinogen is reported by the agency to be a suspected or known cause of the type of cancer the firefighter or firefighter-paramedic has, shall be prima facie evidence that such death or disability resulted from injuries, accident, or other cause while in the line of duty for the purposes of sections 16-1020 to 16-1042, a firefighter's pension plan established pursuant to a home rule charter, and a firefighter's pension or disability plan established by a rural or suburban fire protection district.

(2) For a firefighter or firefighter-paramedic who is a member of a paid fire department of a municipality or a rural or suburban fire protection district in this state, including a municipality having a home rule charter or a municipal authority created pursuant to a home rule charter that has its own paid fire department, and who suffers death or disability as a result of a blood-borne infectious disease, tuberculosis, meningococcal meningitis, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, evidence which demonstrates that (a) such firefighter or firefighter-paramedic successfully passed a physical examination upon entry into such service or subsequent to such entry, which examination failed to reveal any evidence of such blood-borne infectious disease, tuberculosis, meningococcal meningitis, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and (b) such firefighter or firefighter-paramedic has engaged in the service of the fire department within ten years before the onset of the disease, shall be prima facie evidence that such death or disability resulted from injuries, accident, or other cause while in the line of duty for the purposes of sections 16-1020 to 16-1042, a firefighter's pension plan established pursuant to a home rule charter, and a firefighter's pension or disability plan established by a rural or suburban fire protection district.

(3) The prima facie evidence presumed under this section shall extend to death or disability as a result of cancer as described in this section, a blood-borne infectious disease, tuberculosis, meningococcal meningitis, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus after the firefighter or firefighter-paramedic separates from his or her service to the fire department if the death or disability occurs within three months after such separation.

(4) For purposes of this section, blood-borne infectious disease means human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, and all strains of hepatitis.

Source:Laws 1996, LB 1076, § 45; Laws 2010, LB373, § 2.    


35-1101. Fire Recognition Day; designation.

The second Saturday in May is designated and shall be known as Fire Recognition Day, and exercises appropriate for the subject and day may be exercised by any fire department.

Source:Laws 1997, LB 347, § 2.


Cross References

35-1201. Act, how cited.

Sections 35-1201 to 35-1207 shall be known and may be cited as the Mutual Finance Assistance Act.

Source:Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 1.


35-1202. Mutual finance organization, defined.

For purposes of the Mutual Finance Assistance Act, mutual finance organization means a group of rural or suburban fire protection districts, cities, or villages which enter into an agreement pursuant to section 35-1204 to cooperate for purposes of financing operational and equipment needs for fire protection, emergency response, or training within their joint areas of operation.

Source:Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 2.


35-1203. Mutual Finance Assistance Fund; created; use; investment.

The Mutual Finance Assistance Fund is created. The fund shall be used to provide assistance to rural or suburban fire protection districts and mutual finance organizations which qualify under the Mutual Finance Assistance Act. Any money in the fund available for investment shall be invested by the state investment officer pursuant to the Nebraska Capital Expansion Act and the Nebraska State Funds Investment Act.

Source:Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 3.


Cross References

35-1204. Mutual finance organization; creation by agreement.

A mutual finance organization may be created by agreement among its members pursuant to the Interlocal Cooperation Act or the Joint Public Agency Act. The agreement shall contain a provision which requires all members of the mutual finance organization to levy the same property tax rate within their boundaries for the purpose of jointly funding the operations of all members of the mutual finance organization, except that the agreed-upon property tax rate shall exclude levies for bonded indebtedness and lease-purchase contracts in existence on July 1, 1998.

Source:Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 4; Laws 1999, LB 87, § 70.    


Cross References

35-1205. Distributions from fund; qualifications.

(1) Any rural or suburban fire protection district which contains within its boundaries (a) an assumed population of thirty thousand or more or (b) at least eighty percent of the assumed population of any one county which is contained in whole or in part within the district residing outside the city limits of any city of the first, primary, or metropolitan class in such county shall receive a distribution from the Mutual Finance Assistance Fund pursuant to section 35-1206.

(2) Any mutual finance organization which (a) has entered into an agreement pursuant to section 35-1204 and (b) contains within the boundaries of its members (i) an assumed population of thirty thousand or more or (ii) at least eighty percent of the assumed county population of any one county which is contained in whole or in part within the mutual finance organization residing outside the city limits of any city of the first, primary, or metropolitan class in such county shall receive a distribution from the fund pursuant to section 35-1206.

(3) For purposes of this section:

(a) The assumed population residing within the boundaries of a rural or suburban fire protection district or mutual finance organization equals (i) the estimated county population as determined based on the most recent estimates of the United States Bureau of the Census for counties, minus (ii) the estimated population of all cities and villages in the county as certified pursuant to section 77-3,119, multiplied by (iii) a fraction, the numerator of which is the valuation within the rural or suburban fire protection district or mutual finance organization which is not within a city or village and the denominator of which is the valuation in the county which is not contained within a city of the first, primary, or metropolitan class, and added to (iv) the most recent estimated population of all cities of the second class and villages in the fire protection district or mutual finance organization as certified pursuant to section 77-3,119;

(b) The assumed county population residing outside the city limits of any city of the first, primary, or metropolitan class equals (i) the most recent estimated county population as determined based on the most recent estimates of the United States Bureau of the Census for counties minus (ii) the most recent estimated population of all cities of the first, primary, or metropolitan class in the county as certified pursuant to section 77-3,119;

(c) If a city or village is located in more than one county, the population of the city or village which resides in the county is presumed to be in proportion to the valuation of such city or village which is located in the county; and

(d) If the district or mutual finance organization is located in more than one county and the district or mutual finance organization meets the threshold in subsection (1) or (2) of this section in only one county, the district or mutual finance organization shall qualify for assistance under this section.

Source:Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 5; Laws 1999, LB 141, § 7.    


35-1206. Distributions from fund; amount; disqualification; when.

(1) Rural and suburban fire protection districts or mutual finance organizations which qualify for assistance under section 35-1205 shall receive ten dollars times the assumed population of the fire protection district or mutual finance organization as calculated in subsection (3) of such section plus the population of any city of the first class that is part of the district or mutual finance organization, not to exceed three hundred thousand dollars for any one district or mutual finance organization. If the district or mutual finance organization is located in more than one county and meets the threshold for qualification in subsection (1) or (2) of section 35-1205 in one of such counties, the district or mutual finance organization shall receive assistance under this section for all of its assumed population, including that which is assumed population in counties for which the threshold is not reached by the district or mutual finance organization.

(2) If a mutual finance organization qualifies for assistance under this section and one or more rural or suburban fire protection districts or cities or villages fail to levy a tax rate equal to the other districts or cities or villages as required under the mutual finance agreement, the mutual finance organization shall be disqualified for assistance in the following year and each subsequent year until the year following any year for which all districts and cities and villages in the mutual finance organization levy the same tax rate as required by a mutual finance organization agreement.

Source:Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 6; Laws 1999, LB 141, § 8.    


35-1207. Application for distribution; financial information required; State Treasurer; duties.

(1) Any rural or suburban fire protection district or mutual finance organization seeking funds pursuant to the Mutual Finance Assistance Act shall submit an application for funding to the State Treasurer by July 1. The State Treasurer shall develop the application which requires calculations showing assumed population eligibility under section 35-1205 and the distribution amount under section 35-1206. If the applicant is a mutual finance organization, it shall attach to its first application a copy of the agreement pursuant to section 35-1204 and attach to any subsequent application a copy of an amended agreement or an affidavit stating that the previously submitted agreement is still accurate and effective. Any mutual finance organization making application pursuant to this section shall include with the application additional financial information regarding the manner in which any funds received by the mutual finance organization based upon the prior year's application pursuant to the act have been expended or distributed by that mutual finance organization. The State Treasurer shall provide electronic copies of such reports on mutual finance organization expenditures and distributions to the Clerk of the Legislature by December 1 of each year in which any reports are filed.

(2) The State Treasurer shall review all applications for eligibility for funds under the act and approve any application which is accurate and demonstrates that the applicant is eligible for funds. On or before August 15, the State Treasurer shall notify the applicant of approval or denial of the application and certify the amount of funds for which an approved applicant is eligible. The decision of the State Treasurer may be appealed as provided in the Administrative Procedure Act.

(3) Except as provided in subsection (4) of this section, funds shall be disbursed by the State Treasurer in two payments which are as nearly equal as possible, to be paid on or before November 1 and May 1. If the Mutual Finance Assistance Fund is insufficient to make all payments to all applicants in the amounts provided in section 35-1206, the State Treasurer shall prorate payments to approved applicants. Funds remaining in the Mutual Finance Assistance Fund on June 1 shall be transferred to the General Fund before July 1.

(4) No funds shall be disbursed to an eligible mutual finance organization until it has provided to the State Treasurer the financial information regarding the manner in which it has expended or distributed prior disbursements made pursuant to the Mutual Finance Assistance Act as provided in subsection (2) of this section.

Source:Laws 1998, LB 1120, § 7; Laws 2006, LB 1175, § 6;    Laws 2012, LB782, § 34.    


Cross References

35-1301. Act, how cited.

Sections 35-1301 to 35-1330 shall be known and may be cited as the Volunteer Emergency Responders Recruitment and Retention Act.

Source:Laws 1999, LB 849, § 1;    Laws 2001, LB 808, § 5.    


35-1302. Legislative findings.

(1) The Legislature recognizes that volunteer firefighters and rescue squad personnel have provided fire suppression and emergency response services to their local communities for over a century at only a fraction of the cost to the taxpayers which would have resulted from implementing a system of paid fire departments and rescue squad services. Many cities, villages, and rural areas could not afford the cost of maintaining their current level of emergency response services without the presence of a local pool of committed and dedicated volunteer firefighters and volunteer rescue squad personnel. It is necessary for the public health, safety, and welfare of the people in many Nebraska communities to encourage the recruitment and retention of such individuals as volunteer emergency responders.

(2) The Legislature finds that the duties and responsibilities of the volunteer personnel in fire departments and rescue squads in the State of Nebraska have become increasingly complex and time-consuming, requiring an ever higher degree of dedication to cope with new challenges and technological change. The Legislature recognizes that volunteer fire departments and rescue squads must encourage a high level of training and professionalism among their volunteer personnel in order to respond to these increasingly complex and hazardous responsibilities.

(3) The Legislature finds that Nebraska communities which rely on volunteers to provide fire protection and emergency response services are faced with numerous economic and demographic trends and conditions which make the recruitment and retention of qualified volunteers increasingly difficult and that, as a consequence, some volunteer departments are trying to cope with declining rosters of active volunteers.

(4) The Legislature finds that the recruitment and retention of qualified men and women in emergency response capacities in volunteer fire departments is a matter of statewide as well as local concern and that it is appropriate for the state to assist local political subdivisions in achieving that goal. Further, the Legislature finds that the expenditure of local tax revenue for purposes of the Volunteer Emergency Responders Recruitment and Retention Act will significantly benefit the public health, safety, and welfare in participating cities, villages, counties, and fire protection districts and that such expenditures are for a public purpose.

(5) Therefor, the Legislature finds that cities of the first class, cities of the second class, villages, and rural and suburban fire protection districts should be encouraged and assisted in their efforts to retain trained and qualified volunteer fire safety, rescue squad, and emergency response personnel to serve their local communities and should be granted the authority to participate in a local option incentive program designed to provide for the payment of service award benefits which reward the length of service of active volunteer members of volunteer fire departments and volunteer rescue squads. It is the intent of the Legislature that such programs will be developed, organized, structured, and administered to satisfy the length of service award plan requirements of section 457(e)(11) of the Internal Revenue Code as modified by the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 so as to insure that benefits received by participants will not be subject to taxation until actually distributed at age sixty-five or as otherwise provided in the Volunteer Emergency Responders Recruitment and Retention Act.

Source:Laws 1999, LB 849, § 2.    


35-1303. Terms, defined.

For purposes of the Volunteer Emergency Responders Recruitment and Retention Act:

(1) Active emergency responder means a person who has been approved by the duly constituted authority in control of a volunteer department as a volunteer member of the department who is performing service as both a firefighter and on a rescue squad in the protection of life, health, or property from fire or other emergency, accident, illness, or calamity in connection with which the services of such volunteer department are required and whose services and activities during a year of service meet the minimum requirements for qualification as an active member of his or her volunteer department as established by section 35-1309.01;

(2) Active rescue squad member means a person who has been approved by the duly constituted authority in control of a volunteer department as a volunteer member of the department who is performing service as part of a rescue squad in the protection of life or health from emergency, accident, illness, or calamity in connection with which the services of such volunteer department are required and whose services and activities during a year of service meet the minimum requirements for qualification as an active member of his or her volunteer department as established by section 35-1309.01;

(3) Active volunteer firefighter means a person who has been approved by the duly constituted authority in control of a volunteer department as a volunteer member of the department who is performing service as a firefighter in the protection of life or property from fire or other emergency, accident, or calamity in connection with which the services of such volunteer department are required and whose services and activities during a year of service meet the minimum requirements for qualification as an active member of his or her volunteer department as established by section 35-1309.01;

(4) Annual account means a separate account of a city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district conducting a service award benefit program established for each year of service in which such program is being conducted to which is credited all funds, from whatever source, furnished for the purpose of providing service award benefits to qualifying participants in the service award benefit program during that year of service, with the funds in the account to be held in trust and invested for ultimate payment as service award benefits to those qualifying participants;

(5) City of the first class, city of the second class, village, rural fire protection district, and suburban fire protection district means such political subdivisions as they are defined in statute, and when such political subdivisions are granted authority pursuant to the Volunteer Emergency Responders Recruitment and Retention Act to engage in any conduct authorized by the act, the use of these terms shall be construed to mean and include any combination of two or more of these political subdivisions acting in concert pursuant to an agreement entered into under the terms of the Interlocal Cooperation Act or the Joint Public Agency Act;

(6) Emergency response services means the services provided by a volunteer department in the protection of life, health, or property from fire or other emergency, accident, illness, or calamity;

(7) Nonforfeitable means the unconditional and legally enforceable right by a participant or beneficiary to receive service award benefits pursuant to a service award benefit program at the entitlement age or under the circumstances specified in the Volunteer Emergency Responders Recruitment and Retention Act;

(8) Participant means an active emergency responder, active rescue squad member, or active volunteer firefighter who is currently eligible or who will, upon the completion of the requirements of the act, be eligible to receive a service award benefit;

(9) Service award benefit program means a program established, governed, administered, and maintained pursuant to the act which provides service award benefits for active emergency responders, active rescue squad members, and active volunteer firefighters, as provided for in the act, for each year of active service, as defined by the standard criteria for qualified active service, and which program meets the length of service award plan requirements of section 457(e)(11) of the Internal Revenue Code as defined in section 49-801.01;

(10) Specified years of service means the total number of years of service which must be served by a volunteer member of a volunteer department to qualify that member for a service award benefit as determined by the governing body of the city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district conducting the program;

(11) Standard criteria for qualified active service means the minimum annual service requirements for the qualification of a volunteer member of a volunteer department as an active emergency responder, active rescue squad member, or active volunteer firefighter so as to enable such person to participate in a service award benefit program as provided in section 35-1309.01;

(12) Unallocated contributions means that portion of an annual account representing the proportionate equal shares of (a) the principal amount of all contributions from whatever source deposited into the annual account for such year of service and (b) all income derived therefrom, attributable to participants listed on the certification list for that year of service who have subsequently ceased to be volunteers or participants and, in consequence, failed to qualify for a service award benefit as provided in section 35-1312 or 35-1313;

(13) Volunteer means a person who meets the requirements necessary to qualify as a bona fide volunteer as defined in section 457(e)(11)(B)(i) of the Internal Revenue Code, as defined in section 49-801.01, and who, on behalf of and at the request or with the permission of a city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district, engages in activities related to fire protection, fire suppression, or emergency response for the purpose of protecting human life, health, or property;

(14) Volunteer department means any volunteer fire department or volunteer first-aid, rescue, ambulance, or emergency squad or volunteer fire company, association, or organization serving any city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district by providing fire protection or emergency response services for the purpose of protecting human life, health, or property; and

(15) Year of service means the twelve-month period established under a service award benefit program in which the services and activities of a volunteer member of a volunteer department are monitored to determine if the volunteer qualifies for certification by the duly constituted authority of the volunteer department as meeting the standard criteria for qualified active service and each succeeding twelve-month period of the program.

Source:Laws 1999, LB 849, § 3;    Laws 2000, LB 968, § 17;    Laws 2001, LB 808, § 6;    Laws 2002, LB 1110, § 1.    


Cross References

35-1304. Repealed. Laws 2001, LB 808, § 23.

35-1305. Repealed. Laws 2001, LB 808, § 23.

35-1306. Repealed. Laws 2001, LB 808, § 23.

35-1307. Repealed. Laws 2001, LB 808, § 23.

35-1308. Repealed. Laws 2001, LB 808, § 23.

35-1309. Service award benefit program; authorized.

(1) After March 1, 2000, any city of the first class, city of the second class, village, rural fire protection district, or suburban fire protection district which relies in whole or in part upon a volunteer department for emergency response services may adopt a service award benefit program as provided in the Volunteer Emergency Responders Recruitment and Retention Act.

(2) No city, village, or fire protection district shall be required to adopt a service award benefit program. Nothing in the act shall be construed to mandate the creation of a service award benefit program in any city, village, or fire protection district. The act shall not be construed to prohibit any city, village, or fire protection district from ending or eliminating any service award benefit program after its adoption, except that a city, village, or fire protection district may not end its program or its responsibility under its program with regard to any year of service completed prior to such elimination.

(3) Each service award benefit program shall include provisions governing the procedures to be followed in the tallying, recording, verifying, and auditing of points earned by volunteers and provisions which provide for the collection of such other information regarding participants as may be needed to facilitate administration of the program.

Source:Laws 1999, LB 849, § 9;    Laws 2001, LB 808, § 7;    Laws 2002, LB 1110, § 2;    Laws 2011, LB121, § 1.    


35-1309.01. Standard criteria for qualified active service; computation.

(1) The standard criteria for qualified active service shall be based on a total of one hundred possible points per year. A person must accumulate at least fifty points out of the possible one hundred points during a year of service in order to qualify as an active emergency responder, active rescue squad member, or active volunteer firefighter. Points shall be awarded as provided in this section.

(2) A fixed amount of twenty-five points shall be awarded to a person for responding to ten percent of the emergency response calls which are (a) dispatched from his or her assigned station or company during a year of service and (b) relevant to the appropriate duty category of the person. An emergency response call shall mean any dispatch involving an emergency activity that an emergency responder, rescue squad member, or volunteer firefighter is directed to do by the chief of the fire department, the chief of the ambulance service, or persons authorized to act for the chiefs. No points shall be awarded for responding to less than ten percent of the emergency response calls.

(3) For participation in training courses, a maximum total of not more than twenty-five points may be awarded on the following basis:

(a) For courses under twenty hours duration: One point shall be awarded per two hours, with a maximum of five points awarded per course;

(b) For courses of between twenty hours and forty hours duration: Five points shall be awarded, plus one point awarded for each hour after the first twenty hours, with a maximum of ten points awarded per course; and

(c) For courses over forty hours duration: Fifteen points shall be awarded per course.

(4) Drills shall mean regular monthly drills used for instructional and educational purposes, as well as mock emergency response exercises to evaluate the efficiency or performance by the personnel of a volunteer department. Each drill shall last at least two hours. One point shall be awarded per drill. For participation in drills, a maximum total of not more than twenty points shall be awarded.

(5) For attendance at an official meeting of the volunteer department or mutual aid organization, one point shall be awarded per meeting up to a maximum total of not more than ten points.

(6) A fixed award of ten points shall be awarded for completion of a term in one of the following elected or appointed positions: (a) An elected or appointed position defined in the volunteer department's constitution or bylaws; (b) an elected or appointed position of a mutual aid organization; or (c) an elected office of the Nebraska State Volunteer Firefighter's Association or other organized associations dealing with emergency response services in Nebraska.

(7) For participation in activities of fire prevention communicated to public, open house, speaking engagements on behalf of the volunteer department, presenting fire or rescue equipment at a parade or other public event, attendance at the Nebraska State Volunteer Firefighter's Association Convention, attendance at a meeting of a governing body of a city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district on behalf of the department, or other activities related to emergency services not covered in this subsection, one point shall be awarded per activity, but no more than one point shall be awarded per day, up to a maximum total of not more than ten points.

(8) Activities which may qualify a person to receive points in more than one of the categories described in subsections (2) through (7) of this section shall only be credited in one category.

Source:Laws 2001, LB 808, § 8.    


35-1310. Certification administrator; designation; duties; certification list; hearing; appeal.

Each volunteer department serving a city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district conducting a service award benefit program shall designate one member of the department to serve as the certification administrator. The designation of such individual as the certification administrator shall be confirmed and approved by the governing body of that city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district. It shall be the duty of the certification administrator to keep and maintain records on the activities of all volunteer members and participants and award points for such activities based upon the standard criteria for qualified active service. Each volunteer member and participant shall be provided by the certification administrator with notice of the total points he or she has accumulated during each six-month period in which the program is in operation. No later than thirty days following the end of each year of service, the certification administrator shall forward to the governing body of the city, village, or fire protection district a report specifying the name of each volunteer member of the volunteer department, the number of points accumulated by each volunteer during the year of service, and the names of those volunteers who have qualified as active emergency responders, active rescue squad members, or active volunteer firefighters. At the time of the filing of the report, each volunteer member of the department whose name does not appear on the list of qualified volunteers shall be informed of such fact in writing by the certification administrator by mailing the same by first-class United States mail, postage prepaid. No sooner than forty-five days nor later than sixty days after the end of each year of service, the governing body of the city, village, or fire protection district conducting the program shall formally approve and certify the list of those volunteers who have qualified as active emergency responders, active rescue squad members, or active volunteer firefighters. Any volunteer member whose name does not appear on the approved certification list may, within fifteen days after the filing of the report, appeal in writing to the governing body to have his or her name added to the certification list by filing the same with the clerk of the governing body. The appeal shall set out the basis upon which the volunteer believes he or she should be placed upon the certification list and shall specify whether or not a public hearing is requested. If requested by the appealing party, the governing body shall hold a public hearing on the appeal prior to or upon the date upon which the certification list is approved. The governing body shall designate an appropriate person to investigate the appeal and report on its merits to the governing body which shall, by majority vote, add the name of the person to the certification list if there is sufficient evidence to indicate that the individual performed sufficient activities or services to qualify as an active emergency responder, active rescue squad member, or active volunteer firefighter as provided in the standard criteria for qualified active service during the prior year of service. The decision of the governing body may be appealed to the district court of the county in which the volunteer member resides.

Source:Laws 1999, LB 849, § 10;    Laws 2001, LB 808, § 9;    Laws 2005, LB 268, § 1.    


35-1311. Repealed. Laws 2001, LB 808, § 23.

35-1311.01. Repealed. Laws 2011, LB 121, § 3.

35-1312. Service award benefit payments; when; section; how construed.

(1) Except as provided in section 35-1313, service award benefits provided under a service award benefit program shall be paid to a participant only upon the date he or she reaches the age of sixty-five or upon the first day of the first year of service after the first year of service in which such participant was not on the certification list of his or her volunteer department, whichever is later, if the participant has been an active emergency responder, active rescue squad member, or active volunteer firefighter for the number of years of service specified by the city, village, or fire protection district administering the service award benefit program.

(2) Upon the completion of the specified years of service as determined by the city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district, the participant shall have a nonforfeitable interest in the annual accounts of all years of service in which such participant is listed on the certification list. Such interest is equivalent to a proportionate equal share with all other participants listed on the certification list for a year of service in (a) the principal amount of all contributions deposited into the annual account for such year of service and (b) all income derived therefrom.

(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing a city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district from establishing a vesting schedule under which a stated proportion of a participant's interest in his or her annual accounts becomes nonforfeitable upon completion of a specified number of years of service, subject to sections 35-1313, 35-1323, and 35-1329.

Source:Laws 1999, LB 849, § 12;    Laws 2001, LB 808, § 11;    Laws 2005, LB 268, § 2.    


35-1313. Service award benefits; payment upon military service, disability, or death.

(1)(a) Service award benefits may be paid to a participant as provided in subsection (1) of section 35-1312 notwithstanding that such participant has not been an active emergency responder, active rescue squad member, or active volunteer firefighter for the specified years of service if in the years of service in which such participant did not qualify such failure was due (i) to a period during a year of service in the armed forces of the United States upon active duty or (ii) to an injury or disability incurred by the participant and directly related to the participant's duties or activities as a volunteer member of the volunteer department.

(b) Upon the completion of the specified years of service pursuant to this subsection, the participant shall have a nonforfeitable interest in the annual accounts of all years of service in which such participant is listed on the certification list. Such interest is equivalent to a proportionate equal share with all other participants listed on the certification list for a year of service in (i) the principal amount of all contributions deposited into the annual account for such year of service and (ii) all income derived therefrom.

(2) Service award benefits shall be paid to a participant as provided in subsection (1) of section 35-1312 notwithstanding that such participant had not been an active emergency responder, active rescue squad member, or active volunteer firefighter for the specified years of service if such participant suffered a permanent disability resulting from an injury incurred by the participant and directly related to the participant's duties or activities as a volunteer member of the volunteer department which disqualified the participant from further service as a volunteer. At the time such disability is confirmed and certified to the governing body of the city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district conducting the service award benefit program, the participant shall have a nonforfeitable interest in the annual accounts of all years of service in which such participant is listed on the certification list. Such interest is equivalent to a proportionate equal share with all other participants listed on the certification list for a year of service in (a) the principal amount of all contributions deposited into the annual account for such year of service and (b) all income derived therefrom.

(3) Service award benefits shall be paid to the beneficiary of a participant notwithstanding that such participant has not been an active emergency responder, active rescue squad member, or active volunteer firefighter for the specified years of service if such participant dies in the course of his or her active service as a volunteer member of a volunteer department or dies as the result of injuries incurred by the participant directly related to his or her duties or activities as a volunteer member of a volunteer department. At the time of the participant's death, the beneficiary of the participant shall have a nonforfeitable interest in the annual accounts of all years of service in which the participant is listed on the certification list. Such interest is equivalent to a proportionate equal share with all other participants listed on the certification list for a year of service in (a) the principal amount of all contributions deposited into the annual account for such year of service and (b) all income derived therefrom.

(4) Service award benefits shall be paid to the beneficiary of a participant upon the death of a participant notwithstanding that such participant had not reached the age of sixty-five if such participant would have been entitled to receive service award benefits at age sixty-five pursuant to subsection (1) of section 35-1312 or subsection (1) or (2) of this section.

Source:Laws 1999, LB 849, § 13;    Laws 2001, LB 808, § 12.    


35-1314. Participant; failure to qualify; forfeiture.

Any participant in a service award benefit program who ceases to be a volunteer or participant and consequently fails to qualify for a service award benefit pursuant to section 35-1312 or 35-1313 shall forfeit all rights to any future distribution of any portion of the principal amount of any contributions made to an annual account for any service year in which such participant was on the certification list and any income derived from such contributions.

Source:Laws 1999, LB 849, § 14.    


35-1315. Service award benefit program; annual account.

Each city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district conducting a service award benefit program shall establish an annual account for each year of service in which such program is being conducted. All funds from whatever source furnished for the purpose of providing service award benefits to active emergency responders, active rescue squad members, and active volunteer firefighters participating in the service award benefit program during a year of service shall be placed into the annual account for that year of service.

Source:Laws 1999, LB 849, § 15.    


35-1316. Annual account; appropriations and contributions; liability; limitation.

(1) Each city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district conducting a service award benefit program shall appropriate for the annual account for each year of service in which such program is in existence a sum to be determined by the governing body as sufficient to meet the purposes of the program.

(2) The total amount of all contributions from all sources made to any annual account shall not exceed three thousand dollars times the number of participants listed on the certification list for the year of service covered by that annual account. The service award benefit paid to a qualifying participant or beneficiary shall not include in any participant's share of an annual account any contributions made to the annual account for that year of service which are allocable to the participant or beneficiary in excess of the sum of three thousand dollars and any income derived from the investment of those excess sums.

(3) No city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district conducting a service award benefit program shall incur any obligation or liability with regard to contributions into any annual account under such program beyond the amount of contributions actually appropriated by such local political subdivision for such purpose and actually distributed into such accounts.

Source:Laws 1999, LB 849, § 16;    Laws 2001, LB 808, § 13.    


35-1317. Service award benefit; how paid; exempt from judicial process.

(1) The service award benefit received by a qualifying participant or beneficiary shall, at the option of the recipient, be in the form of an annuity or lump-sum benefit. No portion of any annual account shall be subject to attachment, garnishment, execution, or other judicial process for the satisfaction of a debt or claim against any participant or beneficiary and assignments or transfers of any portion shall be void.

(2) The service award benefit paid to a participant or beneficiary qualifying pursuant to section 35-1312 or 35-1313 shall be the participant's or beneficiary's nonforfeitable share of all annual accounts upon the date of his or her qualification for the service award benefit.

Source:Laws 1999, LB 849, § 17.    


35-1318. Eligibility.

Any person who is a paid member of a fire department or other emergency response organization and who receives retirement benefits in consequence of such employment shall not be eligible to participate in any service award benefit program being conducted by the same city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district which employs the person or which contracts for emergency response services with the fire department or emergency response organization which employs the person.

Source:Laws 1999, LB 849, § 18;    Laws 2001, LB 808, § 14.    


35-1319. Participant; status as volunteer.

The participation of a volunteer in any service award benefit program conducted pursuant to the Volunteer Emergency Responders Recruitment and Retention Act and his or her receipt of service award benefits pursuant to such a program shall not for that cause alone alter the relationship of such volunteer to the city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district as being one of a volunteer for purposes of the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act.

Source:Laws 1999, LB 849, § 19.    


Cross References

35-1320. Service award benefit program; summary; information to participants; statement required; public records.

(1) Any city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district conducting a service award benefit program shall, within thirty days after the adoption of a program, provide all volunteers providing its local political subdivision with emergency response services with a summary of the program's provisions, including the program's provisions relating to participation and the applicable standard criteria for qualified active service, the manner in which nonforfeitable interests in annual accounts are obtained, the amount of all contributions to the annual account, and any other information relating to participation in the program. The city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district shall provide copies of the summary to all new volunteer members and to any applicant for membership to the volunteer department.

(2) Any summary of a program's provisions provided pursuant to this section shall include the following statement and such additional explanation as is deemed appropriate by the sponsoring city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district: Due to definitive interpretations of the relevant provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, in order to insure that funds deposited on behalf of a participant are not taxable to the participant in that or any subsequent year in which they are nonforfeitable, any funds held by a city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district on behalf of qualifying program participants will be subject to the claims of creditors of the city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district conducting the program in the event of the insolvency or bankruptcy of that city, village, or district.

(3) Any material modification to the program shall be provided in writing to all participants within thirty days after its adoption by the city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district.

(4) No later than December 1 of each year following the end of the first full year of service after the adoption of a service award benefit program, the city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district shall provide to each participant listed in the certification list for that year of service a summary and copy of the relevant documents relating to the contributions to the annual account for such year of service. By December 1 of each subsequent year, the city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district shall provide each participant who appears for the first time in the certification list for the immediately preceding year of service with the same information.

(5) All documents relating to any program, the certification lists, the annual accounts, the investment of the funds of the annual accounts, the contributions to the account and the income derived therefrom, and the identity of the administrator of the annual accounts shall be public records within the meaning of section 84-712.01.

Source:Laws 1999, LB 849, § 20;    Laws 2001, LB 808, § 15;    Laws 2005, LB 268, § 3.    


35-1321. Repealed. Laws 2011, LB 121, § 3.

35-1322. Annexation, merger, or consolidation; established service award benefit program; effect.

Whenever by reason of annexation, merger, or consolidation a city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district conducting a service award benefit program ceases to exist and becomes part of another city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district which is conducting a service award benefit program, the annual accounts and certification lists of the city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district which has ceased to exist shall be transferred and merged with the annual accounts and certification lists of the other city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district. For purposes of the Volunteer Emergency Responders Recruitment and Retention Act, the prior participation of volunteers in the program of the city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district which has ceased to exist up to the date upon which such body ceased to exist shall be treated as if the participation had been in the program of the other city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district.

Source:Laws 1999, LB 849, § 22.    


35-1323. Annexation, merger, or consolidation; no service award benefit program; effect.

Whenever by reason of annexation, merger, or consolidation a city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district conducting a service award benefit program ceases to exist and becomes part of another city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district which is not conducting a service award benefit program, each person listed on the certification lists for all years of service completed prior to the date upon which the city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district ceased to exist shall be deemed to have a nonforfeitable interest in each annual account for the years of service in which he or she was listed, notwithstanding that the person may not have qualified pursuant to sections 35-1312 and 35-1313, and shall be entitled to receive a service award benefit as provided by the provisions of the Volunteer Emergency Responders Recruitment and Retention Act as if he or she had met the qualification requirements of sections 35-1312 and 35-1313.

Source:Laws 1999, LB 849, § 23.    


35-1324. Annual accounts; deposits and other property held in grantor trust; effect.

(1) All deposits made to annual accounts under any service award benefit program conducted pursuant to the Volunteer Emergency Responders Recruitment and Retention Act, all property and rights purchased with such deposits, and all investment income, property, or rights attributable to such deposits shall be held in a grantor trust within the meaning of subtitle A, chapter 1, subchapter J, part I, subpart E of the Internal Revenue Code, as defined in section 49-801.01, established by the city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district conducting the program, until such time as payments shall be paid under the terms of a program and the act. All such assets held in trust shall be invested by the city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district conducting the program in certificates of deposit, in time deposits, and in any securities in which the state investment officer is authorized to invest pursuant to the Nebraska Capital Expansion Act and the Nebraska State Funds Investment Act and as provided in the authorized investment guidelines of the Nebraska Investment Council in effect on the date the investment is made.

(2) The trust established pursuant to subsection (1) of this section shall provide that all deposits made to the trust, all property and rights purchased with the deposits, and all investment income, property, or rights attributable to such deposits under the Volunteer Emergency Responders Recruitment and Retention Act, until paid to participants or their beneficiaries, are subject to the claims of the creditors of the city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district conducting the program in the event of the insolvency or bankruptcy of the city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district. With respect to any participant or beneficiary, the trust established pursuant to subsection (1) of this section shall not be subject to garnishment, attachment, levy, the operation of bankruptcy or insolvency laws, or any other process of law whatsoever and shall not be assignable.

(3) The trust established pursuant to subsection (1) of this section may contain such other terms and provisions as are necessary to insure that the participation by a participant in the service award benefit program does not result in taxable income to such participant under any provision of the Internal Revenue Code, as defined in section 49-801.01, until such time as service award benefits are paid pursuant to section 35-1312 or 35-1313.

Source:Laws 1999, LB 849, § 24;    Laws 2001, LB 808, § 17;    Laws 2005, LB 268, § 4.    


Cross References

35-1325. Repealed. Laws 2001, LB 808, § 23.

35-1326. Administrative services agreements authorized.

Any city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district conducting a program may enter into an administrative services agreement with an appropriate organization authorized to conduct business in Nebraska to administer the service award benefit programs provided for in the Volunteer Emergency Responders Recruitment and Retention Act. No such agreement shall be entered into unless it will result in administrative economy and will be in the best interests of the participating cities, villages, and fire protection districts and the participants in such programs.

Source:Laws 1999, LB 849, § 26;    Laws 2001, LB 808, § 18.    


35-1327. Agreement; provisions.

The agreement authorized by section 35-1326 shall provide:

(1) That the organization shall make all disbursements under the contract or contracts issued by it, such disbursements to be made in such manner and amounts as directed by the city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district conducting the service award benefit program whether on account of disability, death, the termination of a program, or the attainment of the appropriate age by a qualifying participant;

(2) That the organization shall include with each disbursement a statement showing the gross payment, any taxes withheld, and the net amount paid and an annual statement of account;

(3) That the organization shall furnish to the city, village, or district a statement of all disbursements and withholdings as stipulated in the agreement on at least an annual basis, as agreed by the parties;

(4) Hold-harmless clauses protecting each party thereto from the negligent acts of the other or for any loss or claim against one party resulting from release of incorrect or misleading information furnished by the other party;

(5) For the right of the city, village, or district, either directly or through independent auditors, to examine and audit the organization's records and accounts relating to disbursements made under the agreement;

(6) Protection to the city, village, or district against assignment of the agreement or the subletting of work done or services furnished under the agreement;

(7) For termination of the agreement; and

(8) Such other terms as may be agreed upon and which the city, village, or district determines to be in the best interest of the participating cities, villages, and fire protection districts and the participants in such programs.

Source:Laws 1999, LB 849, § 27;    Laws 2001, LB 808, § 19.    


35-1328. Repealed. Laws 2001, LB 808, § 23.

35-1329. Service award benefit program; termination; effect.

Whenever a city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district conducting a service award benefit program ceases to conduct the service award benefit program, each person listed on the certification lists for all years of service completed prior to the date upon which the city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district ceases to conduct such a program shall be deemed to have a nonforfeitable interest in each annual account for the years of service in which he or she was listed on the certification list, notwithstanding that the person may not have qualified pursuant to sections 35-1312 and 35-1313, and shall be entitled to receive a service award benefit as provided by the provisions of the Volunteer Emergency Responders Recruitment and Retention Act as if he or she had met the qualification requirements of sections 35-1312 and 35-1313.

Source:Laws 1999, LB 849, § 29.    


35-1330. Unallocated contributions forfeited; use.

All unallocated contributions forfeited pursuant to section 35-1314 shall be used by the city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district to finance the cost of conducting the service award benefit program or, at the discretion of the city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district, to reduce the current or future deposits to the service award benefit program.

Source:Laws 1999, LB 849, § 30;    Laws 2001, LB 808, § 20;    Laws 2005, LB 268, § 5.    


35-1401. Act, how cited.

Sections 35-1401 to 35-1408 shall be known and may be cited as the Volunteer Emergency Responders Job Protection Act.

Source:Laws 2008, LB1096, § 5.    


35-1402. Terms, defined.

For purposes of the Volunteer Emergency Responders Job Protection Act:

(1) Employee does not include a career firefighter or law enforcement officer who is acting as a volunteer emergency responder;

(2) Employer means any person employing ten or more employees; and

(3) Volunteer emergency responder means:

(a) An individual who has been approved by a governing body in Nebraska to serve any volunteer fire department or volunteer first-aid, rescue, ambulance, or emergency squad, or volunteer fire company, association, or organization serving any city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district by providing fire protection or emergency response services for the purpose of protecting life, health, or property;

(b) An individual who is in good standing as a volunteer member of the Nebraska Wing of the Civil Air Patrol, the civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force; or

(c) An individual who is a member of a state emergency response team pursuant to the Emergency Management Act.

Source:Laws 2008, LB1096, § 12;    Laws 2010, LB934, § 1;    Laws 2012, LB1005, § 1.    


Cross References

35-1403. Employer; prohibited acts.

No employer shall terminate or take any other disciplinary action against any employee who is a volunteer emergency responder if such employee, when acting or actively deployed as a volunteer emergency responder, is absent from or reports late to his or her place of employment in order to respond to an emergency prior to the time such employee is to report to his or her place of employment.

Source:Laws 2008, LB1096, § 6;    Laws 2012, LB1005, § 2.    


35-1404. Employer; adjustment to wages authorized.

An employer may subtract from an employee's earned wages any time such employee, acting as a volunteer emergency responder, is away from his or her place of employment because of such employee's response to an emergency.

Source:Laws 2008, LB1096, § 7.    


35-1405. Employee; duty to notify employer.

An employee acting as a volunteer emergency responder shall make a reasonable effort to notify his or her employer that he or she may be absent from or report late to his or her place of employment in order to respond to an emergency.

Source:Laws 2008, LB1096, § 8.    


35-1406. Employee; provide written statement; contents.

At an employer's request, an employee, acting as a volunteer emergency responder, who is absent from or reports late to his or her place of employment in order to respond to an emergency shall provide his or her employer, within seven days of such request, a written statement signed by the individual in charge of the department or another individual authorized to act for such individual that includes the following: The fact that the employee responded to an emergency; the date and time of the emergency; and the date and time such employee completed his or her volunteer emergency activities.

Source:Laws 2008, LB1096, § 9;    Laws 2012, LB1005, § 3.    


35-1407. Employee; provide employer notice of status as volunteer emergency responder.

Prior to seeking protection pursuant to the Volunteer Emergency Responders Job Protection Act, an employee acting as a volunteer emergency responder shall provide his or her employer with a written statement signed by the individual in charge of the department or another individual authorized to act for such individual notifying such employer that the employee serves as a volunteer emergency responder. An employee who is or who has served as a volunteer emergency responder shall notify his or her employer when such employee's status as a volunteer emergency responder changes, including termination of such status.

Source:Laws 2008, LB1096, § 10;    Laws 2012, LB1005, § 4.    


35-1408. Wrongful termination of employment or disciplinary action; reinstatement; action to enforce act.

An employee who is terminated or against whom any disciplinary action is taken in violation of the Volunteer Emergency Responders Job Protection Act shall be immediately reinstated to his or her former position, if wrongfully terminated, without reduction of wages, seniority, or other benefits and shall receive any lost wages or other benefits, if applicable, during any period for which such termination or other disciplinary action was in effect. An action to enforce the act may be brought by the employee to recover any lost wages or other benefits, including court costs and reasonable attorney's fees. An action to enforce the act shall be commenced within one year after the date of violation and shall be brought in the district court of the county in which the place of employment is located.

Source:Laws 2008, LB1096, § 11.