JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Governor Tate Reeves (R-Miss.) signed House Bill 521 into law on Monday, creating the Mississippi Length-of-Service Award Program.

The purpose of the bill is to help recruit, retain and reward volunteer firefighters in Mississippi.

The program creates individual accounts in which volunteer firefighters can earn up to $500 per year from the state based on his or her service. The money accumulates and can be accessed upon retirement.

“When Mississippians are in their greatest moments of need, our firefighters are there for them. They run into burning buildings and put their lives on the line for others. This new program recognizes the sacrifices our volunteer firefighters make and is a small token of our tremendous appreciation for them. I was proud to sign this legislation that will help our state recruit and retain more volunteer firefighters. My administration will continue to do everything we can to support Mississippi firefighters and their families,” said Reeves.

The bill was signed into law at the City of Collins Fire Department.