I don't know if I'm the right track for you, but I was able to find this list of "Merit" qualifiers during a HRD Search......
Chapter 534 of the Acts of 1976.
Merit preference status, a status afforded preference in civil service appointment pursuant to M.G.L. c. 31; for example, section 26:
(a) sons or daughters of certain deceased firefighters or police officers for public safety positions,
(b) disabled veterans.
(c) blind persons following disabled veterans in appointments of typists to take dictation solely from dictation machines.
(e) widows or widowed mothers of veterans who died from service-connected disabilities.
(f) residents of a city or town that in which the city or town has submitted a written request to the administrator requesting that the administrator, when certifying names from said eligible list for original appointment to the police force or fire force of a city or town, place the names of all persons who have resided in said city or town for one year immediately prior to the date of examination ahead of the name of any person who has not so resided.
(g) police or fire personnel with twenty-five years service.
No you are not. Clouseau had it right, the below is from the current exam posting:
Preference for the Children of Certain Police Officers/Fire Fighters: The son or daughter of a Police Officer or Fire Fighter employed in Massachusetts who was killed or died from injuries received in the performance of duty, or who was permanently disabled as a result of injuries received in the performance of duty, is entitled to certification/list preference under the provisions of Chapter 402 of the Acts of 1985.
I know somebody who is a" 534 civilian" on an FF list and in his case it had to do with him getting a separated shoulder at the state FF academy. He went back onto the list at the top. Im not sure if this is the case for everybody with this designation however.