3. Definitions. As used in this chapter:
1. "Volunteer fireman" means an active volunteer member of a fire company.
2. "Fire company" means:
a. A fire company of a county, city, town, village or fire district fire department, whether or not any such company has been incorporated under any general or special law,
b. A fire corporation incorporated under or subject to the provisions of article ten of the membership corporations law, which is not included within paragraph a above, if such corporation is by law under the general control of, or recognized as a fire corporation by, the governing board of a city, town, village or fire district, or
c. A fire corporation incorporated under, or established pursuant to the provision of, any general or special law, which is not included within paragraphs a and b above, if such corporation is by law under the general control of, or recognized as a fire corporation by, the governing board of a city, town, village or fire district or Indian reservation. Any district corporation which has the general powers of and operates as a fire district shall be considered as a fire district for the purposes of this chapter. A "fire department" may be composed of one or more fire companies.
3. "Line of duty" means the performance by a volunteer firefighter as a volunteer firefighter of the duties and activities described in subdivision one of section five of this chapter and the same such duties and activities performed for a specialized team established pursuant to the provisions of section two hundred nine-bb of the general municipal law for which the volunteer firefighter does not receive any remuneration or a gratuity and shall be deemed to include any date of injury as determined by the workers' compensation board pursuant to the provisions of section forty-one of this chapter. The following shall not be deemed to be remuneration or a gratuity: reimbursement of expenses for meals, lodging and actual and necessary travel; the receipt of a mileage allowance in lieu of travel expense; reimbursement of expenses for registration and tuition fees payable under section seventy-two-g of the general municipal law, and the acceptance of transportation, food, drink, shelter, clothing and similar items while on duty or engaged in such activities.
4. "Injury" includes any disablement of a volunteer fireman that results from services performed in line of duty and such disease or infection as may naturally and unavoidably result from an injury.
5. "Child" includes a posthumous child, a child legally adopted prior to the injury of the volunteer fireman; and a step-child or acknowledged child born out of wedlock dependent upon the deceased volunteer fireman.
6. "Surviving spouse" means the legal spouse of a deceased volunteer firefighter, but shall not include a spouse who has abandoned the deceased. The term "abandoned", as used in this subdivision, means such an abandonment as would be sufficient under section two hundred of the domestic relations law to sustain a judgment of separation on that ground.
7. "Dependent" includes a surviving spouse entitled to receive benefits under this chapter, whether or not actually dependent upon a volunteer fireman, unless a contrary meaning is clearly intended.
8. "Earning capacity", except as herein provided, means:
a. The ability of a volunteer fireman to perform on a five-day or six-day basis either the work usually and ordinarily performed by him in his remunerated employment or other work which for any such worker would be a reasonable substitute for the remunerated employment in which he was employed at the time of his injury, or
b. The ability of a volunteer fireman to perform on a five-day or six-day basis either the work usually and ordinarily performed by him in the practice of his profession or in the conduct of his trade or business, including farming, and from which he could derive earned income or other work which for any such person would be a reasonable substitute for the profession, trade or business in which he was engaged at the time of his injury.
Every volunteer fireman shall be considered to have earning capacity and, if the provisions of paragraphs a and b above are not applicable in any given case, the workmen's compensation board, in the interest of justice, shall determine the reasonable earning capacity of the volunteer fireman with due regard to the provisions of such paragraphs and the work he reasonably could be expected to obtain and for which he is qualified by age, education, training and experience. The ability of a volunteer fireman to perform the duties of a volunteer fireman, or to engage in activities incidental thereto, may be considered in determining loss of earning capacity, but the inability of a volunteer fireman to perform such duties or to engage in such activities shall not be a basis of determining loss of earning capacity.
9. "State" includes all territory within the boundaries of the state of New York, including territory which has been or may hereafter be ceded to the federal government or to the United Nations and territory within the boundaries of Indian reservations.
10. "Political subdivision" means a county, city, town, village or fire district.
11. "State fund" means the state insurance fund provided for in article six of the workmen's compensation law.
12. "County plan of self-insurance" means a county plan of self-insurance under article five of the workmen's compensation law.
13. "Insurance carrier" means the state fund, the stock corporations, mutual corporations or reciprocal insurers described in subdivision nine of section thirty of this chapter, a county plan of self-insurance, or a self-insuring political subdivision. For purposes of this chapter, a nonprofit property/casualty insurance company which is licensed pursuant to subsection (b) of section six thousand seven hundred four of the insurance law shall be deemed a stock corporation and a nonprofit property/casualty insurance company which is licensed as a reciprocal insurer pursuant to subsection (c) of section six thousand seven hundred four of the insurance law shall be deemed a reciprocal insurer.
14. "Emergency" includes the search for persons and the search for, and attempts to recover or the recovery of, bodies of persons even though it is possible or is known that all hope of life is gone.
15. "Fund raising activity" means a method of raising funds to effectuate the lawful purposes of a fire company, but shall not include any method prohibited by the state constitution or the penal statutes of this state, public fireworks displays unless conducted in compliance with section 405.00 of the penal law. Such term "fund raising activity" shall not include drills, parades, inspections, reviews, competitive tournaments, contests or public exhibitions, described in paragraphs e and i of subdivision one of section five of this chapter, even though prizes are awarded at such events. Such fund raising activity must comply with all the requirements of section two hundred four-a of the general municipal law.
16. "Minor" or "infant" means a person who has not attained the age of eighteen years.
17. The "workers' compensation rating board" or the "New York workers' compensation rating board" shall have the meaning set forth in section two of the workers' compensation law.
Last modified: February 3, 2019