The objects of this Association are: The furtherance of the best interests of the Firemen's Relief Associations of this State which are or may become members of this Association so that the funds of the said relief Associations may be protected and the best results for the benefit of aged and needy active and/or otherwise qualified fire persons and their families, and those injured, incapacitated or killed in the performance of their duty, may be achieved; the protection against the encroachment upon the source of said funds, the advancement of the status and best interest of all fire persons, the development and advancement of the best methods of fire protection and the cultivation of fraternal fellowship among the various departments and fire persons throughout the State and elsewhere.
Each fire department established by law within a municipality or governmental entity in this state is authorized to form a Local Relief Association. (#1) Such association is then considered under “the supervision and control” of that municipality and is entitled to incorporate, affiliate with the New Jersey State Firemen’s Association, and receive the two percent (2%) tax derived from the tax on foreign insurers writing fire and fire related policies within that municipality. Normally “under municipal control” means the municipality adopted an ordinance, resolution or other binding legal procedure. (#2)
The Local Association is solely the creature of the state statutes which authority was established by law on May 2, 1885.(#3) Prior to this date many cities and municipalities had benevolent, eleemosynary, relief or disability associations which may or may not have been incorporated or under governmental control. The Act of 1885 required this governmental control in order to get the two percent (2%) tax so most municipal fire departments organized a Local and affiliated with the State Association. Affiliation with the State Association was not required.
The membership of the Local Association consists of all firefighters approved by the governing body as part of the fire department. The firefighter must be between the ages of eighteen (18) and forty-five (45) years. (#4) All new members, at present, are required to undertake and pass appropriate fire training programs before being admitted. Usually such programs are conducted by the various County Fire Schools or Colleges. They must also furnish evidence of good health. (#5) Upon admission the firefighter becomes eligible for relief benefits as a member of the Local Association and after seven (7) years, eighty-four (84) months of attendance at fires and drills he becomes qualified and entitled to the maximum death benefit provided by the State Association. (#6)
Complete History of the NJ Firemen's Association can be viewd online at: http://www.njstatefiremensrelief.com/history_of_association.aspx