Workers' Compensation Premiums a 'Hot' Topic

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Volunteer fire departments across the mountain state are up in arms as their workers compensation premiums take a significant hike.

The Vienna Volunteer Fire Department is one example of the increase charged by Brickstreet Mutual Insurance Company.

Chief Daniel Goodwin says its premium is raising 83.1 percent, and many departments are seeing a 99 percent increase.

He says many of them won't be able to absorb this kind of cost and will probably have to shut down, causing small community's to suffer.

"To me it would mean more fire deaths. It would mean a lot more property damage," Chief Goodwin said.

According to the Associated Press, Brickstreet president and CEO Greg Burton says the company changed the way it calculates premiums. They're now based on a paid firefighter's average wage instead of a volunteer's regular job.

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