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Thread: Massachusetts-- Benefits sought for firefighter's family

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    Massachusetts-- Benefits sought for firefighter's family

    Monday, March 22, 2004

    Benefits sought for firefighter's family

    Mike Elfland
    T&G STAFF
    melfland@telegram.com

    LANCASTER- Ma.

    Colleagues of fallen Firefighter Martin H. McNamara V are expected to make a pitch tonight for a survivor benefits package that goes much further than the $100,000-plus plan of selectmen.

    Some firefighters are saying the package to be presented by town officials at a special town meeting tonight does not do enough to help Firefighter McNamara's widow, Claire, and the couple's three children. The family lives in Clinton.

    The Massachusetts Call-Volunteer Firefighters Association has put out a call to its members from Lancaster and beyond to attend the meeting as a show of support for Firefighter McNamara's kin.

    An amendment expected to be brought to the floor tonight by Lancaster firefighters would provide Firefighter McNamara's family with the equivalent of a pension. As a call, or part-time, firefighter in Lancaster, Firefighter McNamara was not in line for such a benefit.

    "This is an educational process," said Larry Holmberg, president of the firefighters association. He said he expects as many as 100 to 200 call and volunteer firefighters to converge on Lancaster tonight. "We're not there to intimidate. We're there to just show support."

    Firefighter McNamara, 31, died Nov. 29 in a fire at 76 Mill St. He is survived by his wife and three daughters, one of whom was born in the days after the firefighter perished.

    State law provides for line-of-duty death benefits for families of firefighters in departments that have a combination of full-time and call or volunteer firefighters, but there are no provisions for departments that are call, such as Lancaster's, Mr. Holmberg said.

    Under the plan expected to be presented by Lancaster firefighters tonight, Firefighter McNamara's family would receive an annual payment equal to two-thirds of the salary of a first-year firefighter - a figure to be determined by averaging pay at area departments. Such pay would be in the $30,000 range, Mr. Holmberg said.

    That plan is part of an amendment to be proposed for Article 3 of the town meeting warrant, which outlines the package to be offered by selectmen. Under the board's plan, Mrs. McNamara and her daughters would receive a $70,000 payout from the town, and the family would eligible to enroll in the town's health insurance plan under provisions similar to those offered to retirees. Selectmen also seek town meeting approval to pay $20,695.84 for the firefighter's funeral expenses.


    Photo Below

    Firefighter Martin H. McNamara V

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    March of support for family of fallen Lancaster firefighter

    Tuesday, March 23, 2004

    March of support for family of fallen Lancaster firefighter



    LANCASTER- Firefighters from several communities march yesterday to a special town meeting on behalf of call firefighter Martin H. McNamara V, who died at a fire Nov. 29. Town voters approved an annual pension payment for his family, contingent on a Proposition 2

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    Voters OK McNamara pension

    Tuesday, March 23, 2004

    Voters OK McNamara pension

    Karen Nugent
    T&G STAFF


    LANCASTER- After two hours of discussion, and two amendments, town meeting voters last night unanimously approved making an annual pension payment to the widow and children of fallen firefighter Martin H. McNamara V.

    But the payment is contingent on the passage of a Proposition 2

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