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Emergency Law Inventory | Full Law Text

Law Number

77 P.S. 1031

Summary Title

Workers' Compensation: Volunteer Emergency Medical Services Personnel

Summary

A volunteer firefighter, ambulance corp, rescue and lifesaving squad, forest firefighter, or hazardous material response team who is performing their volunteer duties, going to or returning from their volunteer duties, participating in drills or instruction for their volunteer duties, or repairing or doing work for their volunteer department as authorized by the municipality and is injured or killed is entitled to workers' compensation.

Full Title

Employees Defined; Computation of Compensation; Presumption

Full Text

(a) In addition to those persons included within the definition of the word “employe” as defined in section 104, “employe” shall also include: (1) members of volunteer fire departments or volunteer fire companies, including any paid fireman who is a member of a volunteer fire company and performs the services of a volunteer fireman during off-duty hours, who shall be entitled to receive compensation in case of injuries received while actively engaged as firemen or while going to or returning from a fire which the fire company or fire department attended including travel from and the direct return to a fireman’s home, place of business or other place where he shall have been when he received the call or alarm or while participating in instruction fire drills in which the fire department or fire company shall have participated or while repairing or doing other work about or on the fire apparatus or buildings and grounds of the fire company or fire department upon the authorization of the chief of the fire company or fire department or other person in charge or while answering any emergency calls for any purpose or while riding upon the fire apparatus which is owned or used by the fire company or fire department or while performing any other duties of such fire company or fire department as authorized by the municipality or while performing duties imposed by section 15, act of April 27, 1927 (P.L. 465, No. 299), referred to as the Fire and Panic Act; (2) all members of volunteer ambulance corps of the various municipalities who shall be and are hereby declared to be employes of such municipality for the purposes of this act who shall be entitled to receive compensation in the case of injuries received while actually engaged as ambulance corpsmen or while going to or returning from any fire, accident, or other emergency which such volunteer ambulance corps shall attend including travel from and the direct return to a corpsman’s home, place of business or other place where he shall have been when he received the call or alarm; or while participating in ambulance corps of which they are members; or while repairing or doing other work about or on the ambulance apparatus or buildings and grounds of such ambulance corps upon the authorization of the corps president or other person in charge; or while answering any emergency call for any purpose or while riding in or upon the ambulance apparatus owned by the ambulance corps of which they are members at any time or while performing any other duties of such ambulance corps as are authorized by the municipality; (3) members of volunteer rescue and lifesaving squads of the various municipalities who shall be and are hereby declared to be employes of such municipalities for the purposes of this act and who shall be entitled to receive compensation in the case of injuries received while actually engaged as a rescue and lifesaving squad member attending to any emergency to which that squad has been called or responded including travel from and the direct return to a squad person’s home, place of business or other place where he shall have been when he received the call or alarm or while participating in rescue and lifesaving drills in which the squad is participating; while repairing or doing other work about or on the apparatus, buildings and grounds of such rescue and lifesaving squad upon the authorization of the chief or other person in charge; or while riding in or upon the apparatus of the rescue and lifesaving squad and at any time while performing any other duties authorized by the municipality; (4) volunteer members of the State Parks and Forest Program, who shall be declared to be employes of the Commonwealth for the purposes of this act, shall be entitled to receive compensation in case of injuries received while actually engaged in performing any duties in connection with the volunteers in the State Parks and Forest Program; (5) Pennsylvania Deputy Game Protectors are hereby defined to be employes of the Commonwealth for all the purposes of this act and shall be entitled to receive compensation in case of injuries received while actually engaged in the performance of duties as a Pennsylvania Deputy Game Protector whether employed by the Game Commission or otherwise; (6) all special waterways patrolmen are hereby declared to be employees of the Commonwealth for all purposes of this act and shall be entitled to receive compensation in case of injuries received while actually engaged in the performance of their duties as special waterways patrolmen whether actually receiving compensation from the Pennsylvania Fish Commission or not; (7) all forest firefighters are hereby declared to be employes of the Commonwealth for the purposes of this act and shall be entitled to receive compensation in case of injuries received while actually engaged in the performance of their duties as forest firefighters or forest fire protection employes which duties shall include participation in the extinguishing of forest fires or traveling to and from forest fires or while performing any other duties relating to forest fire protection as authorized by the Secretary of Environmental Resources or his designee. (8) All volunteer members of hazardous materials response teams who shall be and are hereby declared to be employes of the Commonwealth agency, county, municipality, regional hazardous materials organization, volunteer service organization, corporation, partnership or of any other entity which organized the hazardous materials response team for the primary purpose of responding to the release of a hazardous material. All such volunteer members of hazardous materials response teams shall be entitled, under this act, to receive compensation in the case of injuries received while actively engaged as hazardous materials response team members or while going to or returning from any emergency response incident or accident which the hazardous materials response team attended, including travel from and direct return to a team member’s home, place of business or other place where the member shall have been when the member received the call or alarm to respond to the emergency incident or accident; or while participating in hazardous materials response drills or exercises in which the hazardous materials response team is participating; or while repairing or doing other work about or on the hazardous materials response team apparatus or buildings and grounds of the hazardous materials response team upon the authorization of the chief of the hazardous materials response team or other person in charge; or while answering any emergency calls for any purpose; or while riding upon the hazardous materials response team apparatus which is owned or used by the hazardous materials response team in responding to an emergency or drill or with the express permission of the chief of the team; or while performing any other duties of such hazardous materials response team as authorized by the Commonwealth agency, county, municipality, regional hazardous materials organization, volunteer service organization, corporation, partnership or any other entity which duly organized the hazardous materials response team. (9) All local coordinators of emergency management, as defined in 35 Pa.C.S. § 7502 (relating to local coordinator of emergency management), of the various municipalities who shall be and are hereby declared to be employes of such municipalities for the purposes of this act and who shall be entitled to receive compensation in the case of injuries received while actually engaged as local coordinator of emergency management at any emergency to which he has been called or responded, including travel from and the direct return to his home, place of business or other place where he shall have been when he received the call or alarm or while performing any other duties authorized by the municipality. (b) In all cases where an injury which is compensable under the terms of this act is received by an employe as defined in this section, there is an irrebuttable presumption that his wages shall be at least equal to the Statewide average weekly wage for the purpose of computing his compensation under sections 306 and 307. (c) Whenever any member of a volunteer fire company, volunteer fire department, volunteer ambulance corps, or rescue and lifesaving squad is injured in the performance of duties in State Parks and State Forest Land, they shall be deemed to be an employe of the Department of Environmental Resources (d) The term “municipality” when used in this article shall mean all cities, boroughs, incorporated towns, or townships.