LOSAP Point System

POINTS FOR ON CALL OR STANDBY?

NY Ambulance LOSAP Point System Changes; Updated June 2002

In recognizing that fire companies operate differently than ambulance organizations, New York State implemented a series of amendments that reward volunteers accordingly. In 1993, Article 11-AA was added to the General Municipal Law, and stated that volunteer ambulance workers could earn service awards under a defined contribution service award program. The point-system requirements for ambulance workers was almost identical to that of volunteer firefighters stating that each volunteer must earn at least 50 points each year to be eligible to have his or her service award program defined contribution account credited with a contribution for the year. The controversy was in that the state give points for four-hours of stand-by when some standbys lasted as long as twelve hours.

In 1998, Article 11-AA was amended so that instead of granting points for a “stand-by” for every four hours, a volunteer ambulance worker could earn up to a sixth of a point for every hour within a “tour of duty.” Generally speaking, a tour of duty means a period during which a volunteer worker is “on call.” For a 12-hour shift, an individual will earn one-sixth of a point for every half-hour, giving the volunteer a total of two points for the shift.

“Since volunteer ambulance workers usually are available and respond to calls during regularly scheduled periods, this revised system makes a lot more sense,” said Ed Holohan, president and chief actuary at Penflex, Inc.

MINIUMUM NUMBER OF CALLS

Under the 1993 version of Article 11-AA, a volunteer ambulance worker earned 25 points for responding to a minimum percentage of volunteer ambulance company’s total calls during a year. For example, if a company received 500 calls a year and a volunteer ambulance worker responded to at least 10 percent of those calls, that volunteer would receive 25 points. While this worked well for firefighters, the point system did not work as fairly for volunteer ambulance workers. For instance, if a volunteer ambulance

worker was on call for a specific period of time in which the company received only a few calls, and the worker responded to all of the calls during that time period, they still might not have attended enough calls to earn points under this system.

This resulted in the addition of Article 11-AA, which states that instead of having to respond to a minimum number of calls, a volunteer ambulance worker could earn up to half of a point for each call he or she attended. An individual could earn up to 25 points in this category for responding to as few as 50 calls in a calendar year.

BOARD MUST VOTE ON CHANGES

These two amendments to a point system can only be made if the program sponsor’s governing board approves the changes with at least 60 percent in favor. After the governing board approves the change(s), volunteer ambulance workers can begin to earn points under the amended point system rules.

TRAINING COURSE vs. SEMINAR

Prior to 1998, “training course” was defined to mean a “course of

instruction having a prescribed topic and syllabus.” Points for a training course are awarded only upon the successful completion of the course and only in the year for which the course is successfully completed. In 1998, seminars were added to the drill category. A volunteer ambulance worker now can earn points for attending a drill or seminar providing it was at least two hours in duration. For this purpose the term “drill” means “a skills

practice or skills training session related to emergency medical service” and the term “seminar” means “a lecture on a topic relating to the emergency medical service.”

POINTS FOR MEETINGS

Under the “elected or appointed position” category of points, a volunteer ambulance worker appointed to serve on the New York State Emergency Medical Services Council of the State Emergency Medical Advisory Committee, a regional emergency medical services council or a regional emergency medical advisory committee, established pursuant to Article 13 of the Public Heath Law, may receive one point per meeting.

In addition, under the “attendance at meetings” category, a member of a committee who attends an official meeting of a standing committee is to be awarded one point per meeting.

POINTS AFTER THE ENTITLEMENT AGE

Finally, an amendment was added which made it clear that a volunteer ambulance worker could continue to earn points under the point system after they reach the entitlement age but not after thevolunteer ambulance worker applies for payment of his or her service award. This meant thatvolunteer ambulance workers who attained the entitlement age but wished to remain active members could in fact continue to earn additional service credit and have additional contributions added to their service award program account balance in a defined contribution program. Once an individual applied for payment of his or her account balance, the individual’s ability to earn additional service credit (and therefore to have additional contributions added to his or her account balance) ceased.

To read about more about the steps involved in creating a successful LOSAP click here!

To contact Penflex with questions about LOSAP programs click here. You can also call Penflex with LOSAP questions at: 1.800.742.1409.