This opinion represents the views of the Office of the State Comptroller at the time it was rendered. The opinion may no longer represent those views if, among other things, there have been subsequent court cases or statutory amendments that bear on the issues discussed in the opinion.
FIRE COMPANY -- Fire Police Squad (authority to incorporate as separate not-for-profit corporation)
FIRE PROTECTION AND PREVENTION -- Fire Police Squad (authority to incorporate as separate not-for-profit corporation)
GENERAL MUNICIPAL LAW, §209-c: A fire police squad may not be incorporated as a separate not-for-profit corporation.
You ask whether a fire police squad may separately incorporate as a not-for-profit corporation.
General Municipal Law, §209-c provides that the authorities having control of fire departments and fire companies may organize fire police squads "within such departments or companies". Section 209-c further provides that the police squads shall be composed of volunteer firefighters "who are members of such departments or companies".
Based on the quoted language in section 209-c, we have previously concluded that a fire police squad is intended to be a component of a fire department or fire company (1971 Opns St Comp No. 71-683, unreported; 17 Opns St Comp, 1961, p 142). Therefore, we have expressed the opinion that a fire police squad may not separately incorporate as a not-for-profit fire department or company (id.).
There have been no subsequent statutory amendments or judicial decisions which would cause us now to reach a contrary conclusion. Accordingly, it remains our view that a fire police squad may not separately incorporate (see also 1990 Opns St Comp No. 90-34, p 78, in which we concluded that an emergency rescue and first aid squad organized pursuant to General Municipal Law, §209-b may not be established as a separate company within a fire department).
June 17, 1991
Joseph Frank, Esq., Attorney at Law
Hicksville Fire District