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Constitution and By-Laws of the

New York State Association of Fire Chaplains, Inc.

(As approved April 27, 2014)

(Updated – May 1, 2017)

ARTICLE I

ASSOCIATION NAME

Section 1 – The name of this Association is the “New York State Association of Fire Chaplains, (NYSAFC) Inc.”, and is incorporated under the laws of the State of New York.

ARTICLE II

MISSION STATEMENT

Section 1 – The mission of this Association is to unite all Chaplains of the State of New York in order to promote a deeper and wider knowledge of one another in the true ecumenical and interfaith spirit; and to establish statewide procedures of standardization in serving our fellow firefighters, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and God, our supreme Chief.

ARTICLE III

MEMBERSHIP AND REGIONS

Section I – Only Chaplains, duly elected or appointed by Fire Departments, Fire Companies, Firematic Associations or Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agencies within the State of New York, including clergy and laity, are to be admitted as a Full Member.

Section II – Honorary Membership may be awarded only on the recommendation of the Executive Board of this Association and by a majority vote of the membership at the Annual Meeting.

Section III - All members of this Association, active in the Firematic or Emergency Medical Services Associations where they are authorized to serve as a Chaplain, will also hold the position of delegate to the New York State Association of Fire Chaplains, Inc. The Chaplain is to ensure a copy of this authorization letter is on file in the department’s records.

Section IV – Anyone interested in becoming a member of this Association must submit with the approved membership application, a letter signed by the appointing officer of the organization that they represent. The NYSAFC, Inc., has the right to accept or reject any application for membership.

Section V – Once a person becomes a Full Member of the NYSAFC, Inc. they may continue their Association membership even though their status as a Chaplain may change. If their status as a Chaplain changes, they will have the right to continue as a Member, but would be ineligible to hold any elected or appointed office on the Executive Board.

Section VI – Any member in good standing for a period of ten (10) consecutive years will receive a Ten Year Recognition Award.

Section VII – Active Chaplains living outside the State of New York, who have never held membership in the NYSAFC, Inc. may upon submission of an application and payment of dues be enrolled as an ASSOCIATE Member. They may attend all meetings and trainings of the Association, but would be ineligible to (1) vote (2) hold any elected or appointed office on the Executive Board.

Section VIII – There are eight (8) regions covering all of New York State. These regions with their respective counties are:

A. West Region

Niagara, Orleans, Erie, Genesee, Wyoming, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany

B. West Central Region

Monroe, Wayne, Livingston, Ontario, Yates, Seneca, Schuyler, Steuben, Chemung

C. North Region

Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence, Franklin, Clinton, Essex

D. North Central Region

Oswego, Oneida, Herkimer, Hamilton, Fulton, Montgomery, Warren

E. Central Region

Cayuga, Onondaga, Madison, Tompkins, Cortland, Chenango, Otsego, Tioga, Broome

F. East Region

Delaware, Schoharie, Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady, Saratoga, Washington

G. South East Region

Greene, Columbia, Sullivan, Ulster, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Westchester, Rockland

H. South Region

Bronx, New York, Kings, Queens, Richmond, Nassau, Suffolk

Section IX – Members are assigned to one of the eight regions by virtue of the county of their Chaplaincy,

Section X – There are four categories for membership in the NYSAFC, Inc.:

1. Full Member – Met the eligibility criteria on the official NYSAFC, Inc., application. A Full Member can participate in all training, hold any office and will have voice and vote at the Annual Meeting or any Special Meeting of this Association. To be a Full Member in good standing, the member must have their current year’s dues in the Association paid in full.

2. Member – A Full Member who has given up their role as Chaplain but wishes to remain as a member of the Association. The Member can participate in all training and will have a voice and vote at the Annual Meeting or any Special Meeting of this Association. The Member is ineligible to serve in any capacity on the Executive Board. To be a Member in good standing, the Full Member must notify the Executive Secretary of their status change and must have their current year’s dues paid in full.

3. Associate Member – Met the eligibility criteria on the official NYSAFC, Inc. Application, but lives outside of the State of New York. The Associate Member can attend trainings but will not have voice/vote at the Annual Meeting or any Special Meeting of this Association. To be an Associate Member in good standing, the member must be currently appointed as a Chaplain and have their current year’s dues in the Association paid in full.

4. Honorary – an individual recognized for their contributions to this Association. There will be no dues, nor will they have a voice/vote at the Annual Meeting or any Special Meeting of the association. The Honorary Member is ineligible to hold any elected or appointed office of this Association. The Executive Board will recommend to the annual meeting for approval those people deserving of Honorary Membership.

ARTICLE IV

COMMITTEES

Section I – Committees are to be formed to promote the interests and mission of the Association.

Section II – There shall be the following standing committees and their purpose as defined:

A. Memorial Committee – to study and standardize all memorial ceremonies; and to plan the Annual Memorial Service.

B. Training Committee – to develop and provide all aspects of training for Chaplains, including Fire and EMS training, as deemed appropriate.

C. Program Committee – to propose, develop, and implement interesting and purposeful programs for all meetings or conventions, and to promote mutual understanding in ecumenicity and interfaith; at the Annual Meeting in consultation with the training committee.

D. Publicity Committee – to make known by whatever media will best serve the existence, mission and achievements of this Association.

E. Finance Committee – to study ways and means to provide funds to carry on the work of the Association; and prepare annually a guideline budget;

F. Membership Committee – to recruit and retain chaplains. The second Deputy Chief Chaplain shall be the chairperson of this committee.

G. Nominating Committee – composed of all active Past Chief Chaplains, with the chairperson being the most recent Past Chief Chaplain.

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H. Good & Welfare – The Executive Secretary and one other individual chosen by the current Chief Chaplain.

I. Supply Committee – to maintain an inventory of supplies and to prepare items of need and interest, in consultation with the Executive Board.

J. Constitution and By-Law Committee – to accept and review any Constitution and By-Law changes proposed by the membership, and to review the Constitution and By-Laws every (5) five years.

Section III – The chairperson of the standing committees shall be appointed by the Chief Chaplain of the Association.

Section IV – Each committee shall consist of a chairperson and at least one other member chosen by the chairperson of that committee.

Section V – The Chief Chaplain may appoint any other committees as deemed necessary.

ARTICLE V

OFFICERS

Section I – The following officers are to be elected: Chief Chaplain, First Deputy Chief Chaplain, Second Deputy Chief Chaplain, and nine (9) Directors. These officers shall constitute the Board of Trustees of the Corporation.

Section II – Of the nine (9) directors, one (1) will be at-large and eight (8) will be elected as Regional Directors to represent their home region. All directors will be elected by the General Membership with three directors being elected every two years.

Section III – All directors shall serve without compensation.

ARTICLE VI

DUTIES OF OFFICERS

Section I – The Chief Chaplain, or their designee, shall preside at all meetings. The Chief Chaplain shall be an ex-officio member of all committees except the Nominating Committee.

Section II – In the absence of the Chief Chaplain, the First Deputy Chief Chaplain will assume the responsibilities of the Chief Chaplain’s office. If both are absent, the Second Deputy Chief Chaplain will assume those duties.

Section III – The Executive Secretary will be appointed by the Executive Board immediately following each yearly election of officers. The Executive Secretary will maintain the central office (wherever it might be located) of the Association and will act under the immediate direction of the Executive Board. The Executive Secretary would be expected to recommend plans of work for the Association and would conduct the day to day operations of the organization. The Executive Secretary will be responsible for the work that would otherwise be exercised by the Chief Chaplain, but this arrangement would not change the duties of the Chief Chaplain as Presiding Officer and spokesperson for the organization.

Section IV (a) – The nine elected directors shall assist the Chief Chaplain in fulfilling their responsibilities of office, particularly by keeping the Chief Chaplain informed of all important conditions, facts, needs and problems pertaining to firefighters and emergency medical workers in New York State.

Section IV (b) - The eight (8) regional directors shall be responsible for:

a. Holding regional meetings of the association

b. In consultation with the Training Committee, arrange training programs for their respective regions.

c. Organize a regional committee for carrying out meetings and training with one member from each county, if possible.

Section V – The Treasurer will be appointed by the Executive Board immediately following each yearly election of officers. ‘The Treasurer shall have charge of all moneys of the Association, collected by the Executive Secretary or otherwise, and shall give a receipt to the Executive Secretary for same when required.

Section V (a) – The Treasurer shall keep a correct account of all receipts and disbursements and submit these accounts to the Executive Board when requested to do so.

Section V (b) – The Treasurer shall pay bills as approved by the Executive Board.

Section V (c) - The Treasurer shall report the state of finances of the Association at each regular meeting of the Executive Board and submit a written annual report, as of the end of the Fiscal year, at the annual general meeting.

Section V (d) – The Treasurer shall cause to have prepared by an outside independent individual, a financial review of the Association’s funds. Such financial statement shall be presented to the Executive Board at the annual general meeting.

Section V (e) – The Fiscal year shall be…May 1 – April 30

Section VI – The Supply Officer will be appointed by the Executive Board immediately following the each yearly election of officers. The Supply Officer shall serve as the Chairperson of the Supply Committee with voice, but without vote at all meetings of the Association.

Section VI (a) - The Supply Officer and their committee shall obligate funds for prototypes of items need and/or interest, as directed by the Board of Directors.

Section VI (b) - The Supply Officer and their committee shall place orders with vendors subject to available funds and/or at the direction of the Board of Directors to bring the inventory to an adequate level.

Section VI (c) - The Supply Officer and their committee shall assure that orders for supplies are processed in a timely manner.

Section VI (d) - The Supply Officer and their committee shall store and monitor inventory

Section VI (e) - The Supply Officer and their committee shall assure that supplies are transported to the annual meeting of the association and any other event, as authorized by the Board of Directors.

Section VI (f) - The Supply Officer and their committee shall make deposits of supplies purchased in a timely manner and forward the notification of the deposit to the treasurer.

Section VI (g) - The Supply Officer and their committee shall provide a report of inventory, supplies ordered, and orders processed at each meeting of the Board of Directors.

Section VII – In the event of a conflict of interest, a director must recuse themselves from voting.

ARTICLE VII

NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS OF OFFICERS

Section I – The Nominating Committee shall be composed of all active Past Chief Chaplains. The Chairperson shall be the most recent Past Chief Chaplain.

Section II – The Nominating Committee shall submit a roster of candidates to the Chief Chaplain prior to the scheduled Executive Board’s winter meeting. All nominees to the Executive Board shall be Full Members in good standing. Each member of the Association is to receive a copy of the roster, at least one month prior to the general election.

Section III – Nominations shall remain open up to the actual election for each office to allow for further nominations.

Section IV – All elections shall be by written ballot, unless there is no opposition, then a voice vote may be taken. The election will be determined by the majority of those present who are currently qualified members in good standing.

Section V – The Chief Chaplain is to be elected for a term of two years and shall not serve more than one term. The First Deputy Chief Chaplain is to be elected for a one year term and shall not serve more than two consecutive terms. If the First Deputy Chief Chaplain is elected for a second consecutive term, they shall automatically move into the Chief Chaplin’s position at the end of their second term, without being elected. The Second Deputy Chief Chaplain is to be elected for a term of one year and shall not serve more than two consecutive terms. Should a vacancy occur in the office of Chief Chaplain, the First Deputy Chief Chaplain immediately assumes the office of the Chief Chaplain and the Second Deputy Chief Chaplain assumes the office of the First Deputy Chief Chaplain. The office of the Second Deputy Chief Chaplain will remain vacant until the next Annual Meeting or a Special Meeting. Should a vacancy occur in the office of First Deputy Chief Chaplain, the Second Deputy Chief Chaplain immediately assumes the office of the First Deputy Chief Chaplain, with the office of Second Deputy remaining open until the next Annual Meeting or a Special Meeting. If a vacancy occurs in all of the above named officers, the Executive Secretary shall serve as temporary Chief Chaplain along with their Executive Secretary duties. If the Executive Secretary is unable to continue, the Executive Board shall appoint an Executive Secretary as provided in ARTICLE VI, Section III, and the above shall pertain. When an officer fills an unexpired term of another office, this shall not count against the requirement above relating to serving consecutive terms.”

Section VI – Directors are to be elected for a three-year term with three elected each year. Should a vacancy occur due to death, resignation, or removal, of a Director, the unexpired vacancy shall be filled by the Executive Board at their next meeting.

Section VII – The general election are to be held at the Annual Meeting. The newly elected officers will assume their duties immediately before the adjourning of the Annual Meeting.

Section VIII – Any elected officer or director may be removed from office for any cause by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Board.

ARTICLE VIII

MEETINGS

Section I – There shall be an Annual Spring Meeting of this Association at a place and time designed by the Chief Chaplain.

Section II – The Chief Chaplain has the power to call a special meeting of all members, officers, and Executive Board as the need arises. The meeting must be announced at least two weeks prior to the meeting “in person”, via “USPS mail” (sent to the address of record) or by “electronic means” (send to the e-mail address of record). The purpose of the meeting shall be clearly stated in the announcement. If the meeting is to be conducted by USPS or electronically, only a motion with a “Yes”, “No” or “Abstain” option shall be provided.

Section III – The recommended order of business at any Annual Meeting and Executive Board meeting shall be:

A. Opening Prayer

B. Pledge of Allegiance

C. Roll Call

D. Minutes

E. Reports:

a. Chief Chaplain

b. First Deputy Chief Chaplain

c. Second Deputy Chief Chaplain

d. Treasurer

1. Financial Report

2. Finance Committee Report

e. Executive Secretary

1. Membership

2. Communications

3. Good and Welfare

F. Committee Reports

a. Memorial

b. Training

c. Program

d. Publicity

e. Nominating

f. Supplies

g. Constitution and By-Law Committee

h. Other Committees

G. Old Business

H. New Business

I. Adjournment & Closing Prayer

ARTICLE IX

DUES

Section I – The annual dues of the Association shall be set by the Executive Board unless changed by majority vote of the members present at the Annual Meeting or a special meeting of the Association. Dues are payable at the Annual Meeting or may be sent to the Executive Secretary prior to the Annual Meeting.

Section II – Annual dues paid by Fire Departments, Companies or Associations will be for the office of the Chaplain representing said group. If a Chaplain is changed in the course of the year, the new Chaplain’s membership is continued under the annual payment without additional dues. The resigned Chaplain may continue in the Association through personal payment of dues under ARTICLE III.

Section III – Any member whose dues are one year in arrears shall receive a written communication from the Executive Secretary (sent to the address of record); stating the delinquency. If dues continue to be delinquent for a second year, the Chaplain’s name may be dropped from the official roster.

ARTICLE X

AMENDMENTS

Section I – This Constitution and By-Laws shall be amended in the following manner:

A) Any proposed amendments shall be submitted in writing to the Executive Secretary prior to the regularly scheduled Fall Executive Board meeting, who will refer it to the Constitution and By-Law Committee.

B) The Constitution and By-Law Committee will submit the proposed amendment to the Executive Board. If a majority of the Executive Board approves the proposed amendment it shall be forwarded to the membership of the Association for their consideration.

C) The text of the proposed amendment shall be included in the mailing sent with the proposed roster of officers (Article VII, Section II) prior to the Annual meeting wherein a vote on the amendment will be taken.

D) The amendment shall be adopted by a majority of those voting at the annual meeting. The proposed amendment shall become a part of the Constitution and By-Laws of this Association, as of the date of the approval, unless otherwise stated in the amendment.

ARTICLE XI

FUNDS

Section I – The Association shall maintain a Capital Asset Fund of ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) to be invested in savings accounts or certificates of deposit.

Section II – All contributions to the Association shall be in the form of cash, marketable stocks or bonds, real or personal property.

Section III – All loans established by the Association require Board of Directors’ approval, with the resolution submitted and approval duly received at an authorized meeting of the general membership.

ARTICLE XII

EXECUTIVE BOARD

Section I – The Executive Board with vote, shall consist of:

1. Chief Chaplain, First Deputy Chief Chaplain, Second Deputy Chief Chaplain; Directors (9); immediate Past Chief Chaplain.

2. Ex-Of (without vote); Executive Secretary; Treasurer; chairpersons of

Committees; All Past Chief Chaplains; and other officers elected or appointed.

Section II – The Executive Board shall handle the on-going business decisions of the Association, and shall direct the work of the Executive Secretary and the Treasurer. The Executive Secretary will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Association.

Section III – The Executive Board shall meet at least three (3) times per year.

Section IV – The Executive Board may recommend to the Membership at the Annual Meeting those persons the deem deserving of Honorary Membership (See ARTICLE III, Section II).

ARTICLE XIII – In the event of dissolution, all assets of the Association will be donated to the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York, Inc. (FASNY).

Constitution and By-Law revisions: 1985, 1995, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2014 and 2017.