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Volunteer emergency staff in Jackson County to get insurance

POSTED: June 4, 2009 12:23 a.m.
JEFFERSON — The volunteer firefighters and first responders who aid Jackson County officials during emergencies risk their lives alongside county employees to keep residents safe.

And with recent approval from the Jackson County Commission, these volunteers will soon be covered under the county’s insurance plan.

John Hulsey, Jackson County’s finance director, explained to the commission at its meeting Monday that the county’s current worker’s compensation insurance policy only covers the paid and volunteer firefighters.

If first responders and other volunteers who are not covered by the policy injure themselves while responding to an emergency, the county has to pay their medical costs from the general fund.

But the new insurance policy would give volunteers assurance that any future injuries would be covered in the plan. The county would see a $4,000 increase in the cost of the policy, Hulsey said, to cover the roughly 200 firefighters and 50 first responders in the county.

The board approved the measure in a 4-0 vote Monday.



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