Volunteer Firefighter, EMT and Search & Rescue Pension Plan
The Volunteer Firefighter Pension Fund was created in 1967 as an incentive for volunteer firefighters that provide a crucial service to the state. In 2015, the Volunteer EMT Pension Fund was merged with the Volunteer Firefighter Pension Fund to create the combined Volunteer Firefighter and EMT Pension Fund. In 2019, Search & Rescue Volunteers were added to the plan through House Bill 0246.
Wyoming Statutes 35-9-616 through 35-9-628 establish a system for the administration of a retirement program for volunteer firefighters, EMT(emergency medical technicians), and Search & Rescue in Wyoming, including: creating a board to provide for the investment and control of program funds; designating administrative responsibility and program controls; specifying the level of program benefits, eligibility therefore and the sources of funding; and providing a means for appealing administrative decisions.
The Volunteer Firefighter, EMT, and Search & Rescue Pension Board has the power to make rules and regulations governing the operation of the plan, investigate any claim applications and conduct administrative hearings including member appeals. Board nominees must have a minimum of five years of service as members of volunteer firefighter or EMT departments in the state. Under a memorandum of understanding, the WRS Board responsible for the other plans administered by WRS makes investment and actuarial decisions for the assets in the Volunteer Firefighter and EMT Pension Plan.
The Volunteer Firefighter and EMT Pension Board is comprised of six volunteer firefighters, one volunteer EMT and one Search & Rescue Volunteer. Board members are appointed by the Governor.
The WRS Director administers the plan, and is an ex-officio member of the Board. The Board holds quarterly public meetings.