Assemblyman Philip Ramos (D-Central Islip) announced that the Assembly passed legislation to provide training programs by video or computer to firefighters and other emergency service personnel.
“Our firefighters, emergency service technicians and other first responders are continually asked to perform more and more difficult tasks,” Assemblyman Ramos said. “It is imperative that they have hands-on experience, but as technology progresses it is crucial to utilize those advancements in emergency service training. This bill will help achieve that goal.”
The legislation (A.4251-A), requires the Firefighting and Code Enforcement Personnel Standards and Education Commission to study the feasibility of providing training by video or computer. In addition, the bill requires a number of agencies to make such training available to the maximum extent possible, including:
- The Office of Fire Prevention and Control;
- The State Emergency Medical Services Council; and
- Regional Emergency Medical Services Councils.
“As a former emergency medical technician and Suffolk County police officer, I know first hand the positive effects additional training can have on our first responders,” Assemblyman Ramos said. “Providing training by video or computer will help ensure that our firefighters and EMTs are ready to answer the call.”
Improving the working conditions of emergency personnel
An Assembly report entitled “First Responders: A Last Priority?”, the result of a legislative hearing on statewide emergency preparedness of local fire, police and EMTs, highlighted insufficient funding and a lack of equipment and training for New York’s emergency personnel.
To combat this, Assemblyman Ramos, Chair of the Subcommittee on Volunteer Emergency Services, has continuously supported legislation:
- Requiring employers to provide firefighters with safety ropes and harnesses (A.10694-A of 2006);
- Improving the availability of in-state firefighter training programs (Chapter 236 of 2006); and
- Allowing volunteer fire and ambulance companies to receive grants for records management from the Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund (A.10011 of 2006).
“Our firefighters, EMTs and other first responders put their lives at risk everyday,” Ramos said. “It is important that we, as lawmakers, do everything in our power to give them the tools they need to succeed.”