Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, bill sponsor Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, and Governmental Operations Committee Chair Steve Englebright today announced the passage of legislation (A.10046) that would ensure the names of all firefighters who died in the line of duty are included on the New York State Fallen Firefighters Memorial.
"The approval of this bill gives us the opportunity to honor and recognize the brave firefighters who have made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting their fellow citizens," said Silver. "This bill will ensure that any firefighter who has perished in the line of duty will have their name inscribed on the Fallen Firefighters Memorial. I commend Assemblyman Weisenberg for relentlessly championing this effort and all my colleagues for supporting this important piece of legislation."
The legislation was inspired by Paul Brady who served as a volunteer firefighter with the Malverne Fire Department for six years and died while on duty. According to state and federal law, he was engaged in "line of duty" activity at the time of his death. While his name is inscribed on the U.S. Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Maryland, it has been barred from the state Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Albany.
"While there is no way to repay the families of firefighters who make the ultimate sacrifice, the state memorial is a small way for New York to recognize their service," said Weisenberg. "Paul Brady's family deserves to see his name next to those of other fallen heroes from our state."
The bill amends the Executive Law to require that any deceased firefighters have their names inscribed on the New York State Fallen Firefighters Memorial if an authoritative agency determines their deaths resulted from services performed in the line of duty.
"New York's brave men and women firefighters provide critical emergency services that keep communities throughout the state safe," said Englebright. "When the ultimate unfortunate event occurs while protecting the lives of their fellow New Yorkers, we must pay tribute to their bravery and selfness. This bill will ensure that these heroic men and women receive the recognition they deserve."