The West Metro Fire Rescue District (WMFRD) Firefighters Relief Association is a non-profit corporation that exists to provide a retirement incentive for paid on-call firefighters serving New Hope and Crystal. Fire relief associations are governed by Minnesota state law and considered government entities. Therefore, they have similar rights, duties, and responsibilities as other governmental entities, such as a municipality. The Relief Association manages the retirement funds for paid on-call firefighters which allows members to become vested based on the time served. The goal of this program is for our cities to retain experienced, skilled individuals to provide adequate fire suppression services in their communities.
Outside of the firefighters pension, the Relief Association is involved in charitable gambling which manages funds through bingo and pull-tabs at Steve O's, Outtakes, and Big Louie's. Each month the Relief Association donates all funds received from charitable gambling to local entities and individuals. These funds are completely separate from retirement funds and operating costs of the Relief Association.
Any paid on-call firefighter that is currently serving on the West Metro Fire Rescue District is offered membership. However, being a member of the Relief Association is voluntary. If membership is not maintained the firefighter will not receive retirement benefits. To join the Relief Association, firefighters can fill out an application and submit to the Board of Trustees. The Secretary of the Relief Association will be able to provide an official application form.
A Board of Trustees administers the Relief Association. There are 9 members including six elected trustees from the membership, the WMFRD Fire Chief, and 2 trustees appointed by the WMFRD Board. Of the six elected trustees, one serves as President, one as Secretary, one as Treasurer, and the other three trustees are representatives from each fire station.
No, the Relief Association is a separate government entity from WMFRD. The Relief Association is governed by the Bylaws and Policies voted on by its members, in accordance with Minnesota state law. The WMFRD policies and procedures are determined by their own methods.