By-Laws

Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association
BY-LAWS Adopted March 31 2019

Article 1 Membership

Section 1.

Membership in the Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association (hereinafter “CVVFA”) shall be divided into two classes: Public Safety Organization and individual membership. Individual membership shall consist of four categories: Active, Active Beneficial, Honorary, and Life.

Section 2.

Any Public Safety Organization may become a member of the CVVFA upon payment of the dues hereinafter set forth.

Section 3.

Active members shall consist of two classes: active and active beneficial.

  1. Active members are those members in good standing of any duly recognized Volunteer Fire, Rescue, or Emergency Services Company, Department, Organization or Association who:
  2. Pay the requisite dues as governed by Article IX of these By-Laws; and
  3. Applied for membership after August 27, 1994; or
  4. Elected to have the CVVFA purchase their accrued death benefit on or prior to August 25, 1995; or
  5. Had been members of the CVVFA for eight (8) or more years prior to August 27, 1994 and who elected to forego beneficial status on or before August 25, 1995 in return for a waiver of future dues.
  6. Active beneficial members are those members in good standing of any duly recognized Volunteer Fire or Rescue Company, Department, or Association who pay the requisite dues as governed by Article IX of these By-Laws and who:
  7. Have joined the CVVFA prior to August 24, 1994, and
  8. On or prior to August 25, 1995,

a.   elected to remain an active beneficial member; or

b.   were deemed to remain active beneficial members by virtue of failing to make an election of options.

All active and active beneficial members are entitled to vote and to hold office.

Section 4.

Honorary members shall consist of such persons who, by act or deed in the interest of the CVVFA or fire service in general, shall have commended themselves to the esteem of the CVVFA. Honorary members shall have the privilege of admittance to the CVVFA meetings and shall be permitted the floor when so invited. They shall be exempt from the payment of dues and may not vote or hold office.

Section 5.

Life membership shall be conferred upon:

  1. any member who has served as President, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Recording Secretary, Chaplain, or Attorney who has retained active membership for the period of twenty (20) consecutive years; and
  2. any member who is in good standing and has been a member for fifty (50) consecutive years. Life members shall be entitled to all privileges of active members however, they shall be exempt from the payment of dues.
    1. Notwithstanding § 5B of this Article, effective August 2015, the consecutive year membership requirement to attain life membership shall phase down to 25 years, as follows:
    2. 2019 – 35 years

      2021 – 30 years

      2023 – 25 years

    3. Once the life membership requirement has phased down to 25 years, the “fifty (50) in §5B of this Article shall automatically be changed to read “twenty five (25)” and this entire §C shall be deleted from the By-Laws with no affirmative action required to be taken.

Article 2  Officers and Directors

Section 1.

The Officers of the CVVFA shall consist of a President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Financial Secretary, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, and seven (7) Directors, each to be elected at the Annual Convention by ballot and by a majority of the valid votes cast. Said Officers shall serve for a period of (1) year, except the Directors who are elected for a two-year term or until their successors are chosen and qualified. All officers are elected at large from among the eligible membership of the CVVFA. The President may not succeed himself/herself in the office of President, nor may successive Presidents come from the same state.

Section 2.

Letters will be accepted from the spring business meeting until June 15. These letters will be reviewed to ensure eligibility. A ballot of the candidates will be presented by July 15. No nomination will be accepted from the floor except for open position(s). Nominations for all Officers shall take place during the first day of each Annual Convention. Member must be in good standing in the books of the CVVFA. No member shall be nominated or elected to more than one (1) elective office. All resignation of elective Officers shall be presented in writing prior to the nomination.

Section 3.

The Election of Officers shall be held on the second day of each Annual Convention. The election shall be by ballots unless there is no opposition for the office, in which case the Recording Secretary should cast the deciding vote. When there is opposition the election shall be conducted as follows:

The President shall appoint a judge, two tellers, and one clerk from the floor of the Convention. No member shall be judge, teller, or clerk of his/her own election. Ballots shall contain the names of all those nominated for the contested office(s). The ballots shall be placed in the hands of the Judge of Election prior to the opening of the second day’s business session. All eligible active members will be presented a ballot by presenting their current active membership card to the Election Board or by having the Election Board validate their membership using official CVVFA electronic records.

The Judge of Election shall have full charge of the election, shall provide the proper container in which to collect ballots, and shall notify the President when the hour of 10:00 a.m. has arrived and state the closing of the balloting. The Election Board shall count all ballots and make a written report of the results of the ballots cast.

Section 4.

Installation of Officers shall be held following the election. Said installation ceremony shall be conducted by a Past President of the CVVFA. Any Officer failing to appear for installation, without reasonable excuse, shall forfeit said office and another shall be elected or appointed according to Section 6 of this Article.

Section 5.

The Executive Committee shall consist of the President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Recording Secretary, the immediate Past President, and seven (7) Directors.

Section 6.

The Executive Committee shall fill vacancies in unexpired terms of office.

Article 3 Duties of Officers

Section 1.

The President shall preside at all regular and special meetings of the CVVFA; be an ex-officio member of all committees; provide order and decorum; call all meetings of the Executive Committee and special meetings of the CVVFA when in his/her judgment he/she deems it necessary, when ordered to do so by the petition of no fewer than four (4) members of the Executive Committee, or when petitioned by fifteen (15) members in good standing, at such place he/she may determine; refer questions of dispute to the Executive Committee, and appoint from the CVVFA membership an Home Office Manager, Publicity Manager, Attorney, Assist Recording Secretary, Assist Treasurer, Historian, Sergeant-at-Arms, Parliamentarian, Chaplain, and assist Chaplains (one from each state), all committees set forth in Article V, which appointments shall be made within ten (10) days after the Annual Convention, and special committees as he/she from time to time deems necessary. He/she shall be allowed to vote only during the election of Officers, upon the call for yea and nay and when balloting has otherwise produced a tie vote. He/she shall submit a written report of the business transacted through his/her office during the year at the first day’s session of each Convention.

Section 2.

The Vice Presidents shall perform the duties of the President in his/her absence, serving respectively in the order of their standing.

Section 3.

It shall be the duty of the Financial Secretary to sign on all orders drawn on the Treasurer, to keep a true and correct account of all money coming into his/her hands, to pay all money accumulated as soon as collected to the Treasurer for deposit, and to make a final accounting of all funds received on or before July 31st of each Convention year, taking the Treasurer’s receipt for the same. The Financial Secretary shall have all dues posted as of July 1st of each Convention year, and turn all records including computer ledger data over to the Auditing Committee by July 15th of each Convention year. The Financial Secretary shall furnish annually a detailed statement of all money received and expenditures, and be prepared at all times to submit his/her books for audit. He/she shall deliver to his/her successor all books, papers, and other property of the CVVFA in his/her possession. The Financial Secretary shall be reimbursed for miscellaneous expenses, approved by the Executive Committee just prior to the opening of the Convention, and presented to the Convention for approval.

Section 4.

It shall be the duty of the Recording Secretary to keep a complete record of all the proceedings at all meetings, and deliver to his/her successor all books, papers, and other property of the CVVFA in his/her possession. The Recording Secretary shall be reimbursed for miscellaneous expenses, approved by the Executive Committee just prior to the opening of the Convention and presented to the Convention for approval. He/she shall receive a donation, amount to be recommended by the Executive Committee, just prior to the opening of the Convention and presented to the Convention for approval for the ensuing year.

Section 5.

It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to keep a true and correct account of all monies belonging to the CVVFA which may come into his/her hands, disbursements of the same, and to make a report of the condition of treasury annually or more often if requested. The Treasurer shall not disburse any money until he/she receives an expense form with a copy of the invoice or receipt. At the expiration of his/her term of office, he/she shall deliver to his/her successor all monies, books and papers belonging to the CVVFA in his/her possession. He/she shall receive a donation, amount to be recommended by the Executive Committee, just prior to the opening of the Convention and presented to the Convention for approval for the ensuing year.

Section 6.

The Financial Secretary and Treasurer shall give security in such sums as the Executive Committee may determine, and the charge of the Surety Company furnishing such security shall be paid by the CVVFA.

Section 7.

At the conclusion of their term of office, all Officers, Directors and committee chairpersons shall surrender to their successor all monies, books, papers, and all other property belonging to the CVVFA.

Article 4 Duties of the Executive Committee

Section 1.

The Executive Committee shall direct the contracting of bills and their payment through the proper vouchers. It shall have charge of the investments of surplus monies and shall fill vacancies for the unexpired terms of office. It shall have power to offer suggestions and recommendations for alterations or amendments to the By-Laws to the Constitution and By-Laws Committee and complete business which may have been left unfinished by the CVVFA. It shall make annual reports to the Convention in session. Eight (8) members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. It shall have authority to establish scholarship award programs and total dollar amounts that may be awarded.

Article 5 Duties of the Committees

Section 1.

The Membership Committee shall endeavor to increase the membership of the CVVFA. It shall also inquire into and report to the CVVFA upon all questions referred to it arising from disputes for admission to membership, and shall sit at the Convention Hall on the first day of the session to pass upon the eligibility of each representative or member. It shall further assist in the settlement of all Death Claims and in the collection of the annual dues. A majority of its members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

Section 2.

The Publicity Committee shall have charge of all publicity concerning the CVVFA, arrange programs to assist and/or benefit CVVFA member Public Safety Organizations, and recommend speakers for the Annual Convention to the Executive Committee.

Section 3.

The Budget and Finance Committee shall recommend the annual operating budget to the Officers and Directors for review and approval before presenting it for approval at the Annual Convention. They will provide a budget request form to all Officers and Committee Chairman, the budget request shall be submit at the spring meeting of the Association.

Section 4.

The Auditing Committee shall audit the accounts of the Financial Secretary, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, and Home Office and Publicity Managers at least once each year or more often, if, in its judgment, it is deemed necessary. All ledgers and accounts of the Financial Secretary, the Treasurer, the Recording Secretary, and the Home Office and Publicity Managers shall be audited prior to each Convention. The Committee shall report to the Convention in session assembled. It shall have the power to demand of the Officers or committees of the CVVFA all books and papers which it may require to complete its work, and request the presence of any Officer or committeeman if necessary. The Committee members shall receive a donation for their work in an amount approved by the Executive Committee. A majority of its members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

Section 5.

The Constitution and By-Laws Committee shall formulate and present proposed changes to the CVVFA. Such proposals must be submitted in accord with the process set forth in Article XI, Section 1 of these By-Laws.

Section 6.

The Parliamentarian shall be consultant to, and advise the President and other Officers and committee chairmen on, any questions that may arise in interpreting the By-Laws. The Parliamentarian shall be present at all meetings during the Annual Convention to assist the presiding Officers on questions of parliamentary inquiry and to call attention to the presiding Officer to any error in the proceedings that may affect the substantive rights of any member or that may otherwise do harm. The Parliamentarian shall speak when so requested by the presiding Officer.

Section 7.

The Scholarship Committee shall select a student or students to receive CVVFA Scholarships (J.R. Haines, Fire and Kenneth Butts, EMS) using funds as designated by the Executive Committee. The Scholarship Committee may, in its sole discretion, award such amount or amounts by way of a grant(s) (not to exceed $1,000 each) to any such person or persons it shall deem worthy or fit. The Scholarship Committee shall promulgate such rules and regulations specifying terms including, but not necessarily limited to, the eligibility of applicants or recipients and acceptable courses of study.

Section 8.

The Convention Committee shall make arrangements for the Annual Convention and, as needed, shall coordinate activities with local organizations. The Committee shall devise and manage fund-raising activities, primarily to assist with financing the Annual Convention. A parade shall be up to the discretion of the host company.

Section 9.

The Emergency Responder Safety Institute (ERSI) Committee shall endeavor to promote safe highway operations and programs for Public Safety Organizations. Subject to the direction of the Executive Committee, the ERSI Committee may, on behalf of the CVVFA, contract with entities and apply for and receive grants and other funds to support ERSI programs.

Section 10.

The Reputation Management Committee shall endeavor to promote professional and upstanding conduct among the fire service. Subject to the direction of the Executive Committee, the Reputation Management Committee may contract with entities and apply for and receive grants and other funds to support CVVFA Reputation Management Programs.

Section 11.

The Presidents Council Committee shall be appointed by the President of the Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association. The Committee shall include a Chairperson and three committee members. The Chairperson of the Presidents Council Committee shall serve as the Facilitator for the annual Presidents Council meeting. The committee members will assist in the development of an agenda for the Presidents Council meeting and serve as liaisons to the state and national organizations to help encourage attendance and participation at the meeting. The Recording Secretary will record the Presidents Council meeting and will produce a record of the meeting for dissemination to the attendees and CVVFA members. The Presidents Council will meet once per year, in conjunction with the annual convention of the Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association. The purpose of the Presidents Council is to provide an information sharing forum between the states represented in the Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association, and with the federal agencies/organizations that support the volunteer fire and emergency services.

Section 12.

The Nominating Committee shall solicit candidates for offices within the association and manage the election process at the annual convention. The Committee shall consist of three members appointed by the President. The Committee shall post notice and receive Letters of Interest (hard copy or electronic) from the members of the CVVFA who want to be considered for election to office. Letters will be accepted from the spring business meeting until June 15. These letters will be reviewed to ensure eligibility. A ballot of the candidates will presented by July 15. No Nomination will be accepted from the floor except for open position(s). Nominations for all Officers shall take place during the first day of each Annual Convention. No member shall be nominated or elected to more than one (1) elective office. All resignations of elective Officers shall be presented in writing prior to the nomination.

Article 6 Publicity Manager

Section 1.

The Publicity Manager shall have charge of soliciting, collecting for sponsor space sold, compiling, publishing and distributing the CVVFA’s annual book of proceedings, which shall be placed in the mail to all member companies and sponsors. The Publicity Manager shall be reimbursed for miscellaneous expenses, approved by the Executive Committee just prior to the opening of convention and presented on the convention floor for their approval. Sponsorship contracts shall be signed by the President, Treasurer, and Publicity Manager. He/she shall make an annual report as requested by the Executive Committee, just prior to the opening of the convention and presented to the convention for approval for the ensuing year.

Section 2.

The Publicity Manager shall have copies of the CVVFA’s annual book of proceedings for individual members at the registration of delegates at the annual convention.

Article 7 Home Office Manager

Section 1.

The Home Office Manager shall be responsible for:

  1. Promotion of Association Meetings; and
  2. Carrying out all necessary official and incidental duties of the office.

Section 2.

To the extent possible, the Home Office Manager shall secure lodging (i.e., reserving, but not paying for, a block of rooms) and notify officers and members via the Association website or other means at least thirty (30) days prior to the meeting.

Section 3.

The Home Office Manager shall be advanced Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00) for petty cash, such amount to be replenished from time to time by the Treasurer as needed. All expenses shall be reported to the annual audit and to any other audit contracted by the CVVFA. All needed business contact of the CVVFA during the year shall be channeled through the Home Office this business to be directed by the Home Office Manager to proper person or committee.

Article 8 Meetings

Section 1.

The Annual Convention shall be held on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday beginning on the Thursday preceding the first Saturday in August. The opening session of the Convention shall convene at a time set by the Executive Committee on the first day selected for each Annual Convention and continue until recessed from time to time during the session, or sine die when the entire business has been concluded. A meeting of the Executive Committee shall be held on the night prior to the first day of Convention, at a time set at the previous Board meeting.

Section 2.

The elected Officers and Executive Committee may contract with any member company for the site of the Annual Convention.

Section 3.

Two (2) Association meetings shall be held each year one in the fall and one in the spring, meeting at a date to be determined by the President and Home Office Manager. Such meeting dates are subject to change at the call of the President provided the Executive Committee approves at the meeting immediately preceding said proposed change. The Executive Committee may meet prior to each meeting or when the President which to convene or by conference call or other means. The Home Office Manager shall notify each Director, Officer, and member of the location, date, and time of all special meetings of the CVVFA no fewer than fifteen (15) days prior to said special meeting.

Section 4.

The Executive Committee and Directors shall meet annually before the spring meeting, at which time it shall, approve the CVVFA’s annual operating budget. The Executive Committee is hereby vested with the authority to make a reasonable donation to any member company for hosting any meeting or Convention.

Section 5.

Fifteen (15) members of the CVVFA, two (2) of whom are elective Officers, shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at an Association meeting or Convention. All meetings of the CVVFA shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order, which is hereby recognized as authority.

Article 9 Dues

Section 1.

Persons entitled to membership in the CVVFA shall be admitted upon payment of annual dues.

Section 2.

Annual dues for all classes of individual members required to pay dues and Public Safety Organizations may be established by successful motion at the Annual Convention. In all cases, payment of dues shall be made to the Financial Secretary on or before December 31st of each year. All funds collected shall be placed in the General Fund.

Section 3.

Any member Public Safety Organization in arrears for a period of two (2) years shall be expelled from membership in the CVVFA.

Section 4.

Any expelled Public Safety Organization in arrears seeking reinstatement to the CVVFA shall, in addition to the then present membership fee, be required to pay all dues for the period in which they were in arrears, but in no event shall be required to pay a sum greater than two (2) times the then present Public Safety Organization membership fee.

Section 5.

Any individual active member of the CVVFA failing to pay the annual dues by adjournment of Convention each year shall become delinquent and shall not be entitled to participate in any meetings, nor shall be entitled to benefits. When in arrears six (6) months, the Financial Secretary shall notify him/her and request payment. If delinquent for a period of one (1) year, he/she shall be suspended from individual active membership. Any individual active member of the CVVFA in arrears for a period of three (3) or more years shall be expelled from membership.

Section 6.

All individual active members suspended for non-payment of annual dues shall not be reinstated as an individual active member or enrolled as a representative from a member company or department until they have paid the full amount of arrears which may be open against them on the books of the CVVFA. Individual members who are serving a suspension from the CVVFA for failure to pay annual dues shall not be entitled to receive mailings from the CVVFA. All delinquent and reinstated individual active members shall serve a probation period of one (1) year from the date back dues are received by the Financial Secretary, prior to receiving benefits, if said member was entitled to benefits at the time he/she became delinquent or was suspended.

Section 7.

Any active member of the CVVFA entering into the U.S. military shall be excused from the payment of dues during his/her tour of duty. He/she shall retain all privileges and benefits of the CVVFA. Within one (1) year of discharge he/she must remit dues to maintain active membership.

Article 10 Amendment of BY-LAWS

Section 1.

Any addition or amendment to these By-Laws may be adopted after such addition or amendment is proposed in writing at one regular meeting of the association, read, and laid until the next succeeding regular meeting upon the affirmation vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members present.

Approved March 31, 2019

Appendices to the CVVFA BYLAWS

Appendices to these Bylaws may be added to document the policies, procedures, and guidelines that direct the operations of the CVVFA. In order to streamline the operations of the CVVFA, Appendix sections may be added, deleted, or modified upon approval of the CVVFA Executive Committee without the need for a Bylaws amendment action.

Appendix A.

Appendix B.

Agenda for Association Meetings

The following agenda is provided to guide the conduct of the business meetings of the Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association. This agenda may be modified by the President to meet the necessary business of the association.

Call to Order

Invocation

Pledge to the Flag

Welcome from the host company

Opening comments – President or presiding officer

Roll Call by the Recording Secretary

Reading of Communications

Approval of past minutes

Officer Reports

  1. President
  2. First Vice President
  3. Second Vice President
  4. Treasurer
  5. Financial Secretary
  6. Recording Secretary
  7. Home Office Manager
  8. Publicity Manager
  9. Chaplain
  10. Assistant Chaplain
  11. Attorney
  12. Director reports (each Director shall report)
  13. Committee reports
  1. Annual budget
  2. Archives/historical
  3. Auditing
  4. Business and Ops Plan
  5. Communication (web site and social media)
  6. Constitution and Bylaws
  7. Convention and Subcommittees
    1. Memorial
    2. Scholarship
  • Resolutions
  1. Fire Person of the Year
  2. Publicity
  3. Joe Bukowski Award
  • Trailer Sign
  • Sgt at Arms
  1. Emergency Responder Safety Institute
  2. Grants
  3. Legislative
  4. Parliamentarian
  5. Public Relations
  6. Reputation Management
  7. Topics
  8. Training Weekend
  9. Youth Leadership
    1. Emergency Responder Safety Institute
    2. Grants
    3. Legislative
    4. Parliamentarian
    5. Public Relations
    6. Reputation Management
    7. Topics
    8. Training Weekend
    9. Youth Leadership
    10. Committee reports
      1. Director reports (each Director shall report)
      1. Annual budget
      2. Archives/historical
      3. Auditing
      4. Business and Ops Plan
      5. Communication (web site and social media)
      6. Constitution and Bylaws
      7. Convention and Subcommittees
        1. Memorial
        2. Scholarship
      • Resolutions
      1. Fire Person of the Year
      2. Publicity
      3. Joe Bukowski Award
      • Trailer Sign
      • Sgt at Arms
  1. Unfinished Business
  2. New Business
  3. Good of the Association
  4. Next meeting Announcement
  5. Benediction
  6. Adjournment

Presidents Council Agenda

  1. Call to Order
  1. Welcome address by the President of the Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association
  1. Report of the Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association
  1. To be presented by a member of the Presidents Council Committee
  2. The Presidents Council may invite other CVVFA Committees to present a report where programs and projects are managed by that committee
  3. The purpose of the report is to provide an update on programs and projects managed by the CVVFA that are of interest to the state representatives
  1. Reports from federal agencies and organizations
    1. National Volunteer Fire Council
    2. International Association of Fire Chiefs (including the Volunteer and Combination Officers Section (VCOS) and the Eastern District of the IAFC (EDIAFC))
    3. National Fallen Firefighters Foundation / First Responder Center for Excellence
    4. National Fire Protection Association
  1. Federal Legislation Report – Representatives from the following key federal organizations will be invited to participate in a panel discussion with presentation of key federal legislative initiatives effecting the volunteer fire and emergency services
    1. National Volunteer Fire Council
    2. International Association of Fire Chiefs
    3. Congressional Fire Services Institute
  1. Guest speaker – The Presidents Council Committee shall be responsible for identifying an emerging topic of interest to the volunteer fire and emergency services and invite a guest speaker to address this topic.
  1. State reports
    1. Each state represented in the Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association shall be encouraged to attend and participate in the Presidents Council meeting.
    2. Each state representative in encouraged to provide a report to be shared with the other states that includes the following items:
      1. Legislative priorities and actions
      2. Programs or projects of interest to other state organizations

Issues or challenges that the state is addressing and may require some assistance or ideas

      State representatives are encouraged to invite key representatives of state agencies from their state to provide an      update on programs and projects within their agency.

  1. Open discussion – this section of the meeting will be used in an open forum for the discussion of any issue effecting the volunteer fire and emergency services where collaboration and coordination may help state or local representatives to benefit from others experiences or successes.
  1. Adjournment