Assemblyman Phil Ramos (D-Central Islip) announced passage of legislation he sponsored to extend presumption relating to certain lung disabilities to volunteer firefighters regarding retirement and social security benefits (A.8516-A). Volunteer firefighters, while on the job, are exposed to certain synthetic chemicals that increase their risk for certain lung disabilities.
“Volunteer firefighters are often the first to respond to an emergency in Suffolk and should be commended for their brave dedication to protecting our community,” said Ramos. “They perform life-saving work everyday and this legislation will help us do all we can to give back to them.”
According to Ramos, who chairs the Assembly Subcommittee on Volunteer Emergency Services, these same benefits were extended to paid firefighters in 2005 but failed to include volunteer firefighters. “Our volunteers face the same health risks when fighting fires that our paid firefighters do,” said Ramos. “It is only natural the benefits be consistent.”
Nick Grammenos, the 1st Assistant Chief of the East Brentwood Fire Department, said: "I want to thank Assemblyman Phil Ramos for understanding that we need to protect the volunteers that protect us. By sponsoring this bill that that will offer benefits to our members if they are exposed to lung hazards, he is offering financial stability to families of affected firefighters."