Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 860 14
C. MacAdam
  • Earnings basis (deemed earnings)
  • Firefighter (volunteer)

A volunteer firefighter suffered a compensable injury while in the course of his duties. The Schedule 2 municipal employer purchased insurance coverage for its volunteer firefighters at the maximum of $72,000. The worker's regular employment was that of a courier truck driver, working an average of 23 hours per week. The Board based the worker's benefits after completion of LMR on actual pre-injury earnings. The worker appealed.

Board Operational Policy Manual, Document No. 18-02-08, regarding average earnings in exceptional cases, provides that the average earnings for members of volunteer forces is the amount selected by the municipality, and is not subject to review or recalculation. Document No. 12-04-02, on volunteer forces, indicates that municipal volunteer firefighters are included in the definition of a volunteer force.
Based on the clear language of the policy, the worker's average earnings should be based on the deemed insurable earnings as a volunteer firefighter. The appeal was allowed.