FASNY Applauds Governor Cuomo for Signing Volunteer Firefighter/EMT Excused Leave Bill

– Law protects volunteer firefighters and EMTs from termination while responding to declared disasters –

(ALBANY, NY) – The Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY) today issued the following statement after Governor Cuomo signed a bill that protects the jobs of volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel in times of declared disasters, such as hurricanes and wildfires.

The bill,  S07111-B, sponsored by Senator Mark Grisanti (R – Buffalo), and A09849A, sponsored by Assembly Member Fred Thiele (I – Suffolk) will ensure that volunteer firefighters and EMS responders will not lose their paying jobs simply because they were late or missed work while performing volunteer duties during a declared emergency (as declared by the Governor, City, Town, Village or County Executives).

“This law ensures that volunteer firefighters and EMTs who are called to assist in times of a major emergency such as hurricanes, floods and wildfires have a job to go home to,” said FASNY President Robert McConville.  “We want to thank Governor Cuomo for recognizing the need to allow our first responders to operate without worrying if their ‘day job’ is safe when called to help their fellow New Yorkers in a declared disaster; as well as Senator Grisanti and Assemblyman Thiele for their leadership on this bill that will help protect the men and women who protect this State.”

Teams of volunteer firefighters and EMTs have been called to action during a number of significant, declared emergencies in New York State in recent years, including wildfires on Long Island and for mutual aid deployments during Hurricanes Irene and Sandy.  In past years, more than one-third of New York State’s 1,800 volunteer fire departments were deployed to other parts of the state on mutual aid assignments of this nature.  The threat of losing a job has a potential chilling effect on these responses at a time when more than 80% of New York State’s geography is covered by volunteers.

The Legislation can be found here: http://www.assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?default_fld=&bn=A09849&term=&Summary=Y&Actions=Y&Votes=Y&Memo=Y&Text=Y