State Senator Joseph A. Griffo Receives Golden Trumpet Award

By Robin Schott, FASNY Legislative Committee Chair

The FASNY Golden Trumpet Award is given to individuals who have demonstrated exceptional support and assistance to the volunteer fire service. Historically this award has been given to New York State legislators, government officials and others who have shown a commitment to supporting the volunteer fire service.

Past winners include U.S. Representative Sherwood Boehlert, State Assemblyman Michael Bragman, internationally recognized writer Kurt Vonnegut, U.S. Senator Alphonse D’Amato, State Senator Dale Volker and last year’s winner, Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther. The award has been presented 18 times in the last 26 years.

This year’s award winner is State Senator Joseph A. Griffo, who represents Senate District 47 that includes parts of Oneida, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. He was elected to that position in 2007.

The Senator is a graduate of the Rome Free Academy and SUNY Brockport, where he earned magna cum laude distinction while receiving a bachelor’s degree in political science. Senator Griffo and his wife, Lorraine, reside in Rome.

His public service career started with an internship in Assemblyman James Hurley’s office. He was an Oneida County Legislator, three-term Mayor of Rome, President of the New York Conference of Mayors and Oneida County Executive.

Senator Griffo is currently Chairman of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee. He further serves on eight other standing committees, including Codes, Economic Development, Crime, Tourism, Finance, Higher Education, Racing and Wagering, and Homeland Security. He is also a member of the Senate Select Committee on Science, Technology, Incubation and Business.

He also currently holds the title of Deputy Majority Leader for Policy and Co-Chair of the New York State Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus.

The Senator is a fierce advocate for the people he represents. Fire service-related bills that he has sponsored or supported include increased benefits for totally disabled firefighters, reimbursement for training and education classes for volunteer firefighters,  propane education and research, jurisdictional response, VFBL coverage during physical fitness, public employees leaving work for fire service calls without prejudice or lost time, tax credits for dry fire hydrants, and school fire inspections tied to funding and the expanded cancer bill.

FASNY and the volunteer firefighters of the state of New York are very appreciative of his work on the passage of Senate bills S8065 and S3891 addressing expanded cancer coverage. Although these bills did not pass in the Assembly, FASNY is confident that, with his support and leadership in 2017, the volunteer firefighters of New York will gain passage of this important legislation.

Over-exposure to smoke increases the risk of contracting cancer of the lungs. In addition, exposure to smoke and toxic fumes creates a greater risk of cancer in other parts of the body. As volunteers, we did not volunteer to get cancer. Unfortunately, it comes with the job. Career firefighters currently have this benefit and it’s only fair that the volunteers receive the same benefit for performing the same job of protecting the communities we serve.

Nothing is easy in the Legislature and our job is not done, but we now have a champion in the Senate on our side; someone we know will work tirelessly to pass this vitally important bill. It is with great pleasure that the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York presents the 2016 Golden Trumpet Award to New York State Senator Joseph A. Griffo.

FASNY Legislative Outreach Program 2017

FASNY has just concluded the 83rd Annual Legislative Conference in Albany by passing a legislative agenda with five items for the 2017 legislative session. To promote the new legislative agenda, FASNY is continuing its Legislative Outreach Program. The program was started in 2008 and has been extremely successful in bringing the legislative agenda back to the sectionals from Albany.

The primary focus of the program will continue to be educational meetings relating to legislation affecting the volunteer fire service. The meetings usually last anywhere from 90 to 120 minutes and cover the FASNY Legislative Agenda as well as issues of interest to the sponsoring sectionals.

Paul Zuber, Andrew Marrocco and Daniel Cain from Albany Strategic Advisors, FASNY’s legislative representatives, will be on hand along with the FASNY Legislative Committee members to facilitate the program. State legislators will be on hand to comment and listen to fire service legislative needs.

Current schedule of meetings and locations:

February 18, 2017 Onondaga County Camillus 8:30 a.m.
March 4, 2017 Northern Central Ontario County Training Center 9:00 a.m.
March 11, 2017 Southern Albertson 9:00 a.m.
April 4, 2017 Western Frontier Noon
April 2017 Southwestern TBA TBA
April 2017 Hudson-Mohawk TBA TBA
May 2017 Hudson Valley TBA TBA

For more information on the program, contact FASNY’s Legislative Representative Paul Zuber at Paul_Zuber@ASAgovtaffairs.com or Robin Schott, FASNY Legislative Committee Chairman, at (585) 370-2887 or schottr50@aol.com. Please continue to check the FASNY website for further updates on times and locations.