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CITY JEANNETTE v. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (DIBRIDGE) (01/28/87)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: January 28, 1987.

CITY OF JEANNETTE, PETITIONER
v.
WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION APPEAL BOARD (DIBRIDGE), RESPONDENTS

Appeal from the Order of the Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board in the case of Ralph DiBridge v. City of Jeannette, Docket No. A-88091.

COUNSEL

Dennis N. Persin, Stewart, Belden, Herrington & Belden, for petitioner.

Morrison F. Lewis, Jr., for respondent, Ralph DiBridge.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr., and Judge Doyle, and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by President Judge Crumlish, Jr.

Author: Crumlish

[ 103 Pa. Commw. Page 362]

The City of Jeannette appeals a Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board (Board) order affirming a referee's determination that Ralph DiBridge, in receiving partial disability benefits, was entitled to a presumption of maximum wages under Section 601 of The Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act (Act).*fn1 We reverse and remand.

The City of Jeannette employs six full-time salaried firemen and one full-time chief. DiBridge, who suffered a coronary while dragging a firehose, is one of approximately forty additional "call firemen" who are paid $3.25 an hour when and if he chooses to attend a fire or training session.

[ 103 Pa. Commw. Page 363]

DiBridge works in the same firehouse as Glenn S. Gelder and contends, like Gelder, that he is a volunteer fireman. City of Jeannette v. Workmen's Compensation Page 363} Appeal Board (Gelder), 103 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 334, 520 A.2d 531 (1987).

For the reasons stated in that companion case, we hold that DiBridge is a paid fireman and must be classified an employee within the scope of the Act. Thus, his wages must be determined under the provisions set forth in Section 309, 77 P.S. ยง 582(d).*fn2

The Board decision is reversed and this case is remanded to the Board for computation of benefits consistent with this opinion.

Order

The Workmen's Compensation Appeal Board order, No. A-88091 dated July 30, 1985, is reversed and this case is remanded to the Board for computation of benefits consistent with this opinion.

Jurisdiction relinquished.

Order

Now, April 10, 1987, having previously granted reconsideration, we hereby reaffirm our prior opinion and Order filed January 28, 1987.

Disposition

Reversed and remanded. Prior opinion and order affirmed.


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