When used in this article, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings, respectively, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(1) BOARD. The board of commissioners of the fund and any successors thereto.
(2) ERS. The Employees' Retirement System of Alabama.
(3) EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR. The executive director of the board.
(4) FIREFIGHTER. Any firefighter as certified by the Alabama Firefighters Personnel Standards and Education Commission. The term also includes any volunteer firefighter who is a member of a certified volunteer fire department under Section 9-3-17.
(5) FUND. The Alabama Firefighters Annuity and Benefit Fund created in this article.
(6) MEMBER. Any firefighter who is a member of the fund and who is in good standing by virtue of having paid all sums required by this article.
(7) MEMBERSHIP SERVICE. The period of employment of a member as a firefighter from the date he or she becomes a member.
(8) MONTH. A period of 30 days.
(9) PRIOR SERVICE. The period of employment of a member as a firefighter from the time of initial employment as a firefighter to October 1, 2010.
(10) QUALIFIED SERVICE. The prior service plus membership service of a member.
(11) YEAR. A period of 365 days. The last year of employment as a firefighter when over six months of membership service shall constitute a year toward service retirement.