Centertown becomes first Tennessee city to offer Length of Service Award Program to Volunteer Firefighters
The City of Centertown is the first Tennessee municipality to adopt the new State of Tennessee Length of Service Award Program for Volunteers offered to local communities to recruit, retain, and reward volunteer firefighters for their commitment.
A Length of Service Award Program, or LOSAP, allows participating local governments to provide financial rewards to volunteers performing firefighting and fire prevention, emergency medical, and ambulance services. Local governments electing to participate in the program can designate an annual contribution amount to be invested on behalf of eligible volunteers to provide future monetary benefits.
“Being a small community, our residents depend on the local Volunteer Fire Department for our protection and safety,” Centertown Mayor Joel Akers said. “Being given the opportunity to participate in the LOSAP program is a chance to show our continued gratitude and support to the members of the Centertown Volunteer Fire Department who sacrifice and give freely of their time for the benefit of the Centertown community.”
The Tennessee General Assembly authorized grant funding the LOSAP, beginning July 1, 2023, to assist local governments and nonprofit entities that would like to provide this benefit to volunteer firefighters in their communities. The program is administered by the Tennessee Department of Treasury, under the leadership of State Treasurer David H. Lillard, Jr.
"It can be challenging to recruit and retain volunteer firefighters in rural communities, so I am very proud to see Centertown become the first city in the state to take advantage of the LOSAP to benefit local volunteers,” said Senator Janice Bowling, whose district includes Centertown. “I know it’s going to have a meaningful impact in our part of the state.”
“A primary focus of government at all levels should be to effectively manage their resources, and that’s why I was proud to support the LOSAP legislation,” said Representative Paul Sherrell, whose district includes Centertown. “It will equip cities and counties across our state to not only better manage and retain volunteers, but to enhance fire services by having more available volunteers, and I couldn’t be happier that Centertown is the inaugural adopter.”
Volunteers are the lifeblood of fire service in many Tennessee communities, accounting for nearly two-thirds of firefighters in the state. These brave men and women ensure the safety of citizens and those visiting our state each day, often without personal compensation.
“I am very pleased to see the City of Centertown get in on the front end of the LOSAP program to help ensure their town is positioned to have the best volunteer fire and emergency medical services available,” Treasurer Lillard said. “I hope other cities will join Centertown in adopting the LOSAP and applying for the grant.”
For more information on the Tennessee Department of Treasury and the LOSAP program, visit Treasury.tn.gov.