DENTON — A bill to modify provisions of the committee that oversees the Length of Service Award Program (LOSAP) for retired volunteer firefighters in Caroline County was approved by the Caroline County commissioners at their meeting Tuesday, Oct. 8.

The bill expands the LOSAP committee from five to nine voting members, after the commissioners also approved an amendment to include Marydel’s volunteer fire company.

The first version of the bill excluded Marydel because its members already receive retirement benefits from Delaware.

“It makes sense to have a representative from each fire company on that board, including Marydel,” said President Larry Porter.

The bill stipulates one member must come from each of the county’s eight volunteer fire companies — Denton, Preston, Federalsburg, Marydel, Goldsboro, Greensboro, Ridgely and Queen Anne’s-Hillsboro. The ninth member will be one of the county commissioners, or a designee.

Currently, the committee is made up of four members of the Caroline County Volunteer Firemen’s Association, and one commissioner or designee.

The bill says each fire company will nominate two candidates for the LOSAP committee. While the county commissioners will appoint committee members, the nominees’ names will be given in advance to the Volunteer Firemen’s Association, which will be able to submit written explanation if it objects to a nominee.

Finally, the bill says the LOSAP committee members will serve staggered three-year terms. When the first eight fire company members are appointed, their initial terms will be determined by blind draw; two will serve one year, three will serve two years and three will serve three years.

A public hearing on the bill garnered no comment, though several volunteer firefighters attended the meeting.

The bill will take effect Nov. 22.

Porter reminded the volunteer firefighters to get their companies’ nominees to the commissioners soon, so the commissioners can appoint the committee members before its December meeting.

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