Kan. Commissioner Distributes Firefighters Relief Fund Monies

August 2, 2006

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger announced that nearly $9 million is being distributed to Firefighter Relief Associations from the Firefighters Relief Fund this year. This fund is used to assist firefighters and their families when accidents or death occur in the line of duty, and is administered by the Kansas Insurance Department.

“Kansans appreciate the sacrifices our firefighters make on our behalf everyday and I am proud to be able to administer this important benefit,” said Praeger. “This fund, which is used to assist firefighters and their families should an accident occur in the line of duty, is very important.”

The Kansas Firefighters Relief Fund is generated by a 2 percent tax on the fire and lightning insurance premiums paid in the state for the previous calendar year. This year’s distribution of nearly $9 million represents an increase of about $350,000 from last year’s figures.

The fund’s distribution is divided into four main areas:

• The majority of the fund is distributed to the 579 Firefighters Relief Associations throughout the state, and is based on the amount of fire insurance written in the area each association serves.
• A total of $269,000 goes to the Kansas State Firefighters Association, Inc., as a fund for educational purposes and research into fire prevention and extinguishment.
• A portion of the distribution is also used to replenish the death benefit fund, which is administered by the State Association. This year, that amount is $96,772.

Last year, two Kansas firefighters suffered death in the line of duty, while 237 firefighters were injured as a result of a fire and 121 firefighters were injured in other non-fire related accidents. A total of 188,000 fire alarms were sounded in Kansas in 2005. Nearly $750,000 in benefits was paid to firefighters for lost wages as a result of fire department-related injuries or disability, and nearly $775,000 was paid to dependents of firefighters.

Source: Kansas Insurance Department

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