739 KAR 2:040. Survivor benefits for
death of a firefighter.
RELATES TO: KRS Chapter 95A, 136.392
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: KRS 61.315(3)
NECESSITY, FUNCTION, AND CONFORMITY: KRS
61.315 authorizes the payment of survivor benefits of $50,000 to the survivor
of a paid or volunteer firefighter who is killed in the line of duty after July
1, 1991. This administrative regulation establishes the procedures and criteria
which shall be utilized to determine the eligibility of the firefighter's
survivor benefits. This administrative regulation applies to both paid and
Section 1. Definitions. (1) "Active
member" means a paid firefighter that is listed on the department roster
and participates in the department's training programs and other various
(2) "Commission" means
commission as defined by KRS 95A.210(1).
(3) "Death in the line of duty"
means death which occurs as a direct result of an act or acts in the
performance of duty as described in these administrative regulations and shall
include death which results from a heart or circulatory malfunction which is
treated within forty-eight (48) hours after participation in the performance of
these duties or as the result of illness, sickness or injury caused by the
performance of these duties which result in death within twelve (12) months of
the activities as described elsewhere in these administrative regulations
providing death is not caused by suicide or self-inflicted injury.
(a) If death occurs after twelve (12)
months and is believed to be related to the above stated causes, the commission
has the right of review with the possibility of determination of death in
performance of duty.
(b) These activities shall not include
participation in any sports or athletic event or contest, whether for the
purpose of fund raising or any other purpose.
(4) "Child or children" means
stepchildren, legally adopted children and children born posthumously.
(5) "Firefighter" means
firefighter as defined in KRS 61.315(1).
(6) "Heart or circulatory
malfunction" means myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, coronary
thrombosis, cardiac arrest or a cerebral vascular accident which the symptoms
of such malfunction are first medically treated within forty-eight (48) hours
after participation in the performance of the duties of a paid firefighter as
described in these administrative regulations.
(7) "Performance of duty" means
a firefighter acting in the performance of his duties when engaged in the
following activities if the activities are performed at the direction or with
the knowledge of an officer of the fire department or when immediate action is
required at the scene of an emergency not involving his department or other
(b) Fire drills or other related
(c) Rescue or emergency activities;
(d) Repairing or doing other work about
or in the fire or emergency apparatus or building and grounds of the fire
(e) Answering an emergency call;
(f) Riding in or upon the fire or
emergency apparatus which is owned or used by the fire department;
(g) Performing other duties of the fire
department as authorized by the jurisdiction which the department serves; and
(h) Attending meetings related to the
fire service and travel to and from the meetings whether local, state, or
national, as long as he is representing his local, state or national fire
Section 2. Requirements for Eligibility.
(1) Survivors. Benefits shall be paid to the surviving spouse, surviving
children or both; or the surviving parents, as set forth in KRS 61.315(2).
(2) Heart or circulatory malfunction
limitations. If an individual becomes an active member of a fire department and
has not within five (5) years prior to the date of membership been medically
diagnosed as having had or has received any medication for myocardial
infarction, angina pectoris, coronary thrombosis, cardiac arrest or a cerebral
vascular accident, his eligible survivors shall receive the benefits if the
firefighter is killed in the line of duty.
(a) If the firefighter has been medically
diagnosed a having had or receiving medication for the above illnesses within
five (5) years prior to becoming an active member of a fire department and
presents a medical statement to the commission from the firefighter's doctor
that the firefighter has recovered or has been medically rehabilitated
sufficiently to meet the physical demands of firefighting, the eligible
survivors shall be eligible to receive the benefits granted through KRS 61.315 if
the firefighter is killed in the line of duty.
(b) If a firefighter of a fire department
is medically diagnosed as having had or is prescribed medication for myocardial
infarction, angina pectoris, coronary thrombosis, cardiac arrest or a cerebral
vascular accident and returns to active fire service, their survivors shall not
be eligible to receive benefits from this program in event of the firefighter's
death caused by heart or circulatory malfunction until a medical statement from
their doctor that the individual has recovered or has been medically
rehabilitated sufficiently to meet the physical demands of firefighting is
supplied the commission. Upon review and approval of the statement by the
commission, the firefighter's survivors shall again become eligible to receive
benefits from this program.
(3) Autopsy. The commission reserves the
right to request an autopsy providing sufficient cause can be shown for this
request. If an autopsy is performed for any reason, a copy of the report signed
by the individual who performs the autopsy and a notary public shall be
furnished to the commission.
Section 3. Application. (1) Upon the
death in the line of duty of a firefighter, the fire department of which the
firefighter was a member at the time of death shall notify the commission's
administrator of the death immediately. Upon receipt of the notification, the
administrator shall send Form KPF-4, July 14, 1998, to the notifying fire
department in care of the chief as well as Form KPF-5 to the known survivors of
the deceased firefighter.
(2) Upon receipt of Forms KPF-4 and
KPF-5, July 14, 1998, the chief and survivors or their representative shall
properly fill out the forms and return them to the commission in care of the
(3) Upon the receipt of the properly
completed forms, a committee of the commission appointed by the chairman of the
commission shall review the forms and forward them with their recommendations
to the full commission for determination of eligibility. If there are questions
about the forms, the committee and the administrator may seek clarification of
the questions on behalf of the commission.
Section 4. Certification of Payment of
Benefits. Upon certification of survivorship rights to the Firefighter's Death
Benefit, the sum of $50,000 shall be paid in check by the state treasurer from
the general expenditure fund of the state treasury, as required by KRS
61.315(2) and the treasurer shall transmit the check to the commission's
administrator for payment to the eligible survivor or survivors.
Section 5. False and Fraudulent
Statements. A person who knowingly or willfully makes any false or fraudulent
statements or representation in any record or report to the commission under
KRS Chapter 61.315 or this administrative regulation shall cause the survivors
to become ineligible for further funds and those survivors may be responsible
for the return to the state treasury of those funds which were received through
these false or fraudulent statements or representations.
Section 6. Appeals. (1) Decisions of the
commission negatively affecting the eligibility of a survivor to be a recipient
of the fund shall not be final until the survivor shall have been afforded an
opportunity to be heard on the matter.
(2) An appeal may be taken from a final
decision of the commission to withhold payment from the fund to any survivor.
The appeal shall be to the circuit court of the circuit where the controversy
Section 7. Incorporation by Reference. (1) The
following material is incorporated by reference:
(a) Report of Firefighter's Death,
Form KPF-4, July 14, 1998.
(b) Claim for Survivor Benefits, Form
KPF-5, July 14, 1998.
(2) This material may be inspected,
copied, or obtained at the Commission on Fire Protection Personnel Standards
and Education, 1049 U.S. 127 South, Suite #5, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601, Monday
through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (11 Ky.R. 912; eff. 12-11-84; Am. 16 Ky.R.
1505; eff. 3-8-90; 19 Ky.R. 2127; eff. 5-10-93; 25 Ky.R. 1202; 1608; eff.
1-8-99; recodified from 815 KAR 45:060, 3-27-2002.)