(a) A qualified ambulance service person who has terminated active ambulance service, who has at least five years of credited ambulance service, who is at least 50 years old, and who is among the 400 persons with the greatest amount of credited ambulance service applying for a longevity award during that year, is entitled, upon application, to a Cooper/Sams volunteer ambulance award. An applicant whose application is not approved because of the limit on the number of annual awards may apply in a subsequent year.
(b) If a qualified ambulance service person who meets the service requirements specified in paragraph (a) dies before applying for a longevity award, the estate of the decedent is entitled, upon application, to the decedent's Cooper/Sams volunteer ambulance award, without reference to the limit on the number of annual awards.
(c) A Cooper/Sams volunteer ambulance award is the total amount of the person's accumulations indicated in the person's separate record under section 144E.45 as of November 1 in the calendar year in which application is made. The amount is payable only in a lump sum.
(d) Applications for a Cooper/Sams volunteer ambulance award must be received by the board or the board's designee under section 144E.40, subdivision 2, by October 1, annually. Cooper/Sams volunteer ambulance awards are payable only as of the last business day in December annually.