A pair of bills sponsored by Assemblymember Karen McMahon (D-Amherst) to support the East Amherst Fire Company were signed into law last week by the Governor. The first bill (A7630) exempts the East Amherst Fire Department from the requirement that the percentage of non-resident members not exceed 45 percent of the membership. The second bill (A7645) incorporates the East Amherst Fire Department Benevolent Association. The bills were passed in a bipartisan effort, with Senator Ed Rath (R-Amherst).
Non-for-profit corporation law includes a limitation of 45 percent on out-of-district members.
Without a change to that law, the East Amherst Fire Department would be in violation as they exceed that limit and would face continued challenges to recruiting interested volunteers. The removal of this limit opens the doors to other volunteers who reside outside the immediate boundaries of the fire protection district and are interested in volunteering for the Department.
Incorporating an East Amherst Fire Department Benevolent Association will greatly add to the retention of volunteer firefighters. Funds raised by the new association will be utilized to support the health and welfare of the members so they remain healthy and can continue serving the public.
“I’m very proud of this package of legislation that was recently signed into law because it’s going to go a long way in ensuring the East Amherst Fire Department is able to continue to bravely serve our community for many years to come,” said Assemblymember McMahon. “Both bills specifically focus on membership and retention of volunteer members. Much ofWNY, and all of the 146th Assembly District, is protected by volunteer fire services. East Amherst has seen their ranks grow, and these new laws will allow them to continue to grow.”
“The East Amherst Fire Department would like to thank Assemblymember Karen McMahon for her work and assistance in the presentation and passing of two bills on behalf of our organization,” said Ken Rusin, President of the East Amherst Fire Department. “These bills will greatly help our department with obtaining and retaining volunteer members so we can continue to give our community the services it deserves. Assemblymember McMahon’s involvement is very much appreciated.”