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July 5, 1972
Mr. C. Brent Nevin
Vancouver, Washington 98660
Cite as: AGLO 1972 No. 52 (not official)
By letter, you have requested our opinion of a question which we paraphrase as follows:
Is the chief of a county fire protection district eligible for coverage under chapter 41.26 RCW, if he is the sole fire chief, has no other employment, and has no specified work hours‑-if he devotes the full amount of time that is required by his employer to the duties of a fire chief?
We answer this question in the affirmative for the reasons set forth below.
RCW 41.26.030 (4), in relevant part, provides as follows:
". . .
"(4) 'Fire fighter' means:
"(a) Any person who is serving on a fulltime, fully compensated basis as a member of a fire department of an employer and who is serving in a position which requires passing a civil service examination for fire fighter, or fireman if this title is used by the department, and who is actively employed as such;
[[Orig. Op. Page 2]]
"(b) Anyone who is actively employed as a fulltime fire fighter where the fire department does not have a civil service examination;
"(c) Supervisory fire fighter personnel;
". . ."
You will note that the individual you have described in your question seems to fit the definition contained in both subsection (b) and (c).
It is our view that the phrase "fulltime, fully compensated" is a subjective standard to be measured against the particular demands of a particular individual's employment. In other words, it is not measured in terms of hours worked or compensation received, but whether the individual in question receives the full compensation connected with his position and works the full number of hours required of that position.
We trust this information will be of assistance.
Very truly yours,
FOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
WAYNE L. WILLIAMS
Assistant Attorney General