On February 2, the House General Laws Subcommittee #1 heard testimony on HB 1765 (Carr), which as originally drafted, would expand the definition of Fire Companies in the Code of the Virginia to include firefighter support organizations whose purpose is to provide rehabilitation and support services to firefighters. The definition of a fire company is limited to volunteer firefighting organizations whose purpose is to extinguish fires. The intent of the bill was to broaden the definition to allow a support organization in the greater Richmond Region to qualify for public and private grants by qualifying as a fire company. Prior to the committee meeting, VACo expressed concerns to the patron over potential unintended consequences involving sovereign immunity, workers’ compensation, and the Line of Duty Act (LODA) in the bill language as originally drafted. VACo appreciates the patron working with VACo and adopting substitute language that still achieves the original intent of the bill without potentially imposing unintended consequences on local government. The Subcommittee recommended reporting the substitute, which subsequently reported from the full committee on a vote of 21-1.
VACo Contact: Jeremy R. Bennett