For Immediate Release – July 18, 2023
MIDDLETOWN, NJ – At the Monday, July 17th Township Committee Regular Meeting, the Middletown Township Committee introduced an ordinance that amends the Township's current Length of Service Awards Program (LOSAP) ordinances and significantly increases the amount of money annually allocated for qualified volunteers in the Middletown Township Fire Department and Middletown Emergency Services Department (EMS).
LOSAP is a state-authorized program that allows municipalities to reward dedicated emergency volunteers by establishing and contributing money into a savings account that is intended for retirement. Each volunteer must attain a minimum number of points to qualify for the contribution annually. Points are acquired by attending meetings, participating in trainings, responding to emergency calls, and fulfilling other volunteer duties. The amount of money a volunteer can receive on an annual basis depends on how many years of service they have completed with their agency.
The program is currently divided into five tiers based on years of service: 0 through 2, 3 through 4, 5 through 6, 7 through 10, and 11 and over. The amount of allocated money increases and coincides with the years of service. The ordinance proposed at yesterday's meeting splits one of the tiers into two, creating an entirely new level for volunteers who fall within the 9 through 10 years range. This change further rewards those first responders by fairly compensating them for their extra years of volunteerism.
The newly introduced ordinance also increases the maximum annual rate for each tier. For instance, volunteers who have dedicated at least 11 years of service will see an increase of up to 30 percent from $1,150 to $1,500.
"Middletown is incredibly fortunate to have such a large volume of selfless individuals who dedicate their free time to helping others. Our fire department is the largest all-volunteer one in the world with 11 different fire companies and our EMS has five all-volunteer first aid squads." said Mayor Tony Perry. "Increasing the LOSAP rates is just a small token of the Township's immeasurable appreciation."
The ordinance will be listed for public hearing at the next Township Committee meeting on Monday, August 21st.