New York Consolidated Laws, Not-For-Profit Corporation Law - NPC § 1402. Fire corporations




(a) Certificate of incorporation;  additional contents.

In addition to the requirements of section 402 (Certificate of incorporation;  contents), the certificate of incorporation of a fire corporation shall state the precise boundaries of the territory in which the corporation intends to operate.

(b) Type of corporation.

A fire corporation is a charitable corporation under this chapter.

(c) Appointment of firemen.

(1) A person shall not be eligible to be named in the certificate of incorporation of a fire corporation unless he shall be at least eighteen years of age and a resident of a city, village, fire district, or town outside of villages and fire districts, where the fire corporation intends to operate.

(2) If the fire corporation becomes part of the fire department of a city, village or fire district, a person shall not be eligible to be elected as a member or to continue as a member except as provided by law for volunteer members of the fire companies in such city, village or fire district.

(3) In towns outside of villages and fire districts, the consent of a majority of the members of the town board to the formation of a fire corporation shall constitute an appointment of the persons named in the certificate of incorporation as town firefighters.  Thereafter, other eligible persons may be elected as members pursuant to the by-laws of the fire corporation, but the election of a member must be approved by the town board of each town which consented to the formation of the fire corporation.  Such a person shall be a resident of the territory specified in the certificate of incorporation or of territory outside such boundaries which is afforded fire protection by the fire corporation pursuant to a contract for fire protection under which a cash consideration is received by the corporation or for which negotiations for renewal of such a contract are pending.  The membership of any volunteer member shall terminate when he or she ceases to be a resident of such inside or outside territory, except that the corporation may authorize his or her continued membership where he or she notifies the secretary of the fire corporation (a) that he or she plans to change his or her residence to a territory which is not in such inside or outside territory, and (b) that by reason of his or her residence in the vicinity or his or her usual occupation he or she will be available to render active service as a volunteer firefighter in either such inside or such outside territory.  Voting for such authorization shall be pursuant to the by-laws.  Such authorization shall not become effective unless approved by resolution of the town board of each town which consented to the formation of the corporation.  Any membership so continued shall terminate when the member can no longer meet the requirements of this subparagraph.  A person who cannot meet the residence requirements of this subparagraph may be elected to membership as a volunteer member if by reason of his or her residence in the vicinity or his or her usual occupation he or she will be available to render active service as a volunteer firefighter in such inside or outside territory.  Voting for such election shall be pursuant to the by-laws.  Such election shall not become effective unless approved by resolution of the town board of each town which consented to the formation of the corporation.  Such membership shall terminate when the member can no longer meet the requirements of this subparagraph.  The election or continuance of any person as a member shall be deemed to have been approved by the town board pursuant to this subparagraph in the event that no action is taken by the town board, either approving or disapproving, within forty days in the case of residents of the territory specified in the certificate of incorporation or of outside contract territory, and within seventy days in the case of all others, after service of written notice of such election or continuance of membership shall have been made by the secretary of the corporation upon the town clerk, either personally or by mail.  The membership of any volunteer firefighter shall not be continued pursuant to this subparagraph, and persons who do not reside in the territory specified in the certificate of incorporation or in territory protected pursuant to a contract for fire protection shall not be elected to membership, if, by so doing, the percentage of such nonresident members in the fire corporation would exceed forty-five per centum of the actual membership thereof, provided, however, that the forty-five percent limit on non-resident members shall not apply to the membership of the Huguenot Fire Company, Inc., within the town of Deerpark, Orange county, to the membership of the Prospect Terrace Fire Company, Inc., within the town of Dickinson, Broome county, to membership of the Hopewell Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., to membership of the Wales Center Volunteer Fire Company, Inc., within the town of Wales, Erie county or to membership of the fire departments within the town of Fleming, Cayuga county.  Nonresidents of the territory specified in the certificate of incorporation whose volunteer membership has been authorized or continued pursuant to this subparagraph may be elected or appointed to any office in the fire corporation and shall have all the powers, duties, immunities, and privileges of resident volunteer members except a non-resident of this state whose membership has been continued pursuant to this subparagraph, or who was elected to membership pursuant to this subparagraph, shall not be considered to be performing any firefighting duty, or to be engaged in any firefighting activity, as a member of the fire company while he or she is outside of this state unless and until he or she has first reported to the officer or firefighter in command of his or her fire department, or any company, squad or other unit thereof, engaged or to be engaged in rendering service outside this state, or has received orders or authorization from an officer of the fire department or fire company to participate in or attend authorized activities outside of this state in the same manner as resident members of the fire company.  A person shall not be eligible to volunteer membership in any other fire corporation or fire company at one time.  The provisions of this subparagraph shall not be deemed to authorize the election or the continuance of any person as a member of the corporation if such election or continuance of membership shall be contrary to the by-laws, rules or regulations of the fire corporation.

(4) A person who has been convicted of arson in any degree shall not be eligible to be named in the certificate of incorporation of a fire corporation, or to be elected or appointed as a volunteer member of a fire corporation.  The membership of any volunteer member of a fire corporation shall immediately terminate if he is convicted of arson in any degree while a member of a fire corporation.

(5) Upon application by any person for membership in a fire corporation operating pursuant to this section, the fire chief shall cause the applicant's background to be checked pursuant to section eight hundred thirty-seven-o of the executive law for a criminal history involving a conviction for arson and conviction of a crime which requires the person to register as a sex offender under article six-C of the correction law.  Where such criminal history information includes conviction of a crime which requires the person to register as a sex offender under article six-C of the correction law, a fire company shall determine whether or not such person shall be eligible to be elected or appointed as a volunteer member of such fire company.  Such determination shall be made in accordance with the criteria established in sections seven hundred fifty-two and seven hundred fifty-three of the correction law .

(d) Incorporation of fire corporations in towns legalized.

Any fire, hose, protective or hook and ladder corporation heretofore organized under any general law with the consent of the town board in the territory served by such corporation is hereby legalized and confirmed, notwithstanding the omission of any town board to appoint or confirm the members of such corporations as town firemen.  Any such corporation shall hereafter be subject to the provisions of this section.

(e) Powers.

(1) A fire, hose, protective or hook and ladder corporation heretofore incorporated under any general law or a fire corporation hereafter incorporated under this section shall be under the control of the city, village, fire district or town authorities having, by law, control over the prevention or extinguishment of fires therein.  Such authorities may adopt rules and regulations for the government and control of such corporations.  Notwithstanding the provisions of any such local law, a person who has been convicted of arson in any degree shall not be eligible for nomination, election or appointment to any office of the corporation, nor may such person serve as director of the corporation.  Any fire corporation officer or director who is convicted of arson in any degree during his term of office shall be disqualified from completing such term of office.

(2) Where a fire corporation formed outside of a city, village or fire district furnishes fire protection to territory outside of the boundaries specified in its certificate of incorporation, the fire corporation and the members thereof shall be under the exclusive control of the town board of the town in which the fire corporation maintains its apparatus.

(3) The emergency relief squad of a fire corporation incorporated under this section or subject to the provisions thereof shall have power to furnish general ambulance service when duly authorized under the provisions of section two hundred nine-b of the general municipal law .

(4) Any fire company incorporated under this section or subject to the provisions thereof shall have power to engage in fund raising activities pursuant to section two hundred four-a of the general municipal law .

(5) Any fire company incorporated under this section or subject to the provisions thereof shall have power, subject to the approval or authorization of the town board, to attend a funeral.

(6) Fire, hose, protective or hook and ladder corporations heretofore incorporated under any general law or fire corporations hereafter incorporated under this section or volunteer fire companies or fire departments as defined in section three of the volunteer firefighters' benefits   1 law are hereby authorized to enter into contracts among themselves and among municipal corporations for the joint purchase of goods, supplies and services.  Provided that the provisions of article five-A of the general municipal law shall be controlling for any proposed joint purchase between such fire corporation, company, or department and a municipal corporation.  For the purposes of this subparagraph the term “municipal corporation” shall mean a county, city, town, village, fire district, or ambulance district.

(f) Directors to file report.  It shall be the duty of the directors of all fire, hose, protective or hook and ladder corporations incorporated under a general law or of a fire corporation formed under this section in territory outside of cities or villages, or a majority of them, on or before the fifteenth day of January in each year, to make and file in the county clerk's office, where the certificate of incorporation is filed a verified certificate, stating the names of the directors and officers of the corporation, containing an inventory of its property, a statement of its liabilities and that the corporation has not engaged, directly or indirectly, in any business other than that set forth in its certificate of incorporation.

(g) Firemen's exemption.  Every active fireman who shall be a member of a corporation subject to the provisions of this section shall be entitled to all the rights granted by law to volunteer firemen and every such active fireman who shall meet the requirements of section two hundred of the general municipal law shall be entitled to the additional rights granted by law to exempt volunteer firemen.

(h) Legalization of membership of fire corporations in towns outside villages and fire districts.

(1) Any person:

(A) who was recognized prior to the first day of July, nineteen hundred fifty-four, as a volunteer member of a fire corporation subject to the provisions of this section located in a town outside villages and fire districts by the town board or by the officers and members of the fire corporation, and

(B) who rendered active service with such fire corporation prior to such date, and

(C) who was, at the time of his election to membership, a resident of the territory specified in the certificate of incorporation or of territory outside such boundaries which was afforded fire protection by the fire corporation pursuant to a contract for fire protection,

shall for all purposes in law be considered to have been duly elected and confirmed as a member in such fire corporation as of the date of such confirmation, if any, and, if none, then as of the date of such election;  notwithstanding that there may have been some legal defect in such election, or the proceedings precedent thereto, or a failure of the town board to confirm such member, as provided by the law in force at the time of such election, and the status of such person as a volunteer fireman as of the date of such confirmation or election is hereby legalized, validated and confirmed.  This subparagraph shall not apply to a person, if any, whose volunteer membership in a fire corporation was declared invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction prior to the first day of January, nineteen hundred fifty-five.

(2) Any person:

(A) who was recognized on or after the first day of July, nineteen hundred fifty-four and prior to the first day of January, two thousand eleven as a volunteer member of a fire corporation subject to the provisions of this section located in a town outside villages and fire districts by the town board or by the officers and members of the fire corporation, and

(B) who rendered active service with such fire corporation between such dates, and

(C) who was, at the time of his election to membership, a resident of the territory specified in the certificate of incorporation or of territory outside such boundaries which was afforded fire protection by the fire corporation pursuant to a contract for fire protection, or who was a nonresident elected to membership or who was continued as a member, pursuant to the provisions of subparagraph (A) shall for all purposes in law be considered to have been duly elected and confirmed, or continued, as a member in such fire corporation as of the date of such confirmation, if any, and, if none, then as of the date of such election or, in the case of a continuance, as of the date of approval, if any, by the town board and, if none, as of the date of authorization of continuance by the fire corporation;  notwithstanding that there may have been some legal defect in such election, or the proceedings thereto, or a failure of the town board to confirm the election, or approve the continuance of membership, of such member, as provided by the law in force at the time of such election or continuance, and the status of such person as a volunteer fireman as of such date is hereby legalized, validated and confirmed.  This subparagraph shall not apply to a person, if any, whose volunteer membership in a fire corporation was declared invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction prior to the first day of January, two thousand eleven.

(i) Discrimination because of race, color, creed or national origin prohibited.

(1) It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for any volunteer fire department, fire company or fire corporation, through any member or members thereof, directors, officers, members of a town board, board of fire commissioners or other body or office having power of appointment of volunteer firemen in any fire department, fire company or fire corporation pursuant to this section, because of the race, creed, color, national origin, sex or marital status of any individual, to exclude or to expel from its volunteer membership such individual, or to discriminate against any of its members because of the race, creed, color, national origin, sex or marital status of such volunteer members.

(2) Any person claiming to be aggrieved by an unlawful discriminatory practice pursuant to this paragraph may by himself or his attorney at law make, sign and file with the state division of human rights, a verified complaint which shall set forth the particulars of the alleged unlawful discriminatory practice and contain such other information as the division of human rights may require.  The division shall thereupon cause to be made an investigation and disposition of the charges pursuant to the provisions of article fifteen of the executive law.

1 So in original. (“benefits” should be “benefit”).




Read this complete New York Consolidated Laws, Not-For-Profit Corporation Law - NPC § 1402. Fire corporations on Westlaw

FindLaw Codes are provided courtesy of Thomson Reuters Westlaw, the industry-leading online legal research system. For more detailed codes research information, including annotations and citations, please visit Westlaw.

FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs.