Assemblymember Wallace Recognizes International Firefighters Day, Highlights Accomplishments for Firefighters

Assemblymember Monica P. Wallace (D-Lancaster), chair of the Assembly Subcommittee on Volunteer Emergency Services, recognized International Firefighters Day today, May 4th, by pledging her ongoing support for firefighters and their families.

Wallace noted several legislative accomplishments that positively impact volunteer firefighters in her Assembly District, including:

  • $250,000 secured by Wallace in the 2018-2019 New York State budget for the Depew Volunteer Fire Department, which will go toward the replacement of the department’s self-contained breathing apparatuses that are due to expire next year
  • $125,000 grant secured by Wallace for the South Line Fire Department in Cheektowaga to address traffic concerns in the area around the fire hall by installing traffic lights to stop traffic during an emergency
  • $5,000 for the Bellevue Fire Department for a smoke alarm awareness campaign, which will include free smoke and carbon monoxide detectors for community members

As chair of the Assembly Subcommittee on Volunteer Emergency Services, Wallace is focused on sponsoring legislation to benefit our courageous firefighters. This year, Wallace has introduced the following bills to keep our community and the men and women who protect it safe:

  • A.9653 – If enacted, this bill will allow a tax exemption for fire extinguishers and fire, heat, and carbon monoxide alarms during the month of October
  • A.10311 – If enacted, this bill will develop a plan to enable firefighters to obtain required training easier, either online or in the trainee’s home department
  • A.10326 – If enacted, this bill will promote volunteerism among young adults by granting SUNY and CUNY academic credits commensurate for volunteer time served

Just this week, Wallace introduced a bill in the Assembly to one-family homes construction contracted to include a cost estimate for the installation of a fire sprinkler system. The legislation’s intent is to provide the home buyer with quote for a sprinkler system before the house is built. The bill does not require the home buyer to purchase the system.

In addition, Wallace is cosponsoring A.3368, which would prohibit certain chemicals used on residential furniture. Though these chemicals were originally intended to act as flame retardants to prevent cigarette fires, studies have found them to be ineffective and dangerous. Unfortunately, the chemicals do not protect the furniture from fire. Rather, the chemicals are combustible and, during a fire, they omit dangerous byproducts that have the potential to cause health issues for residents and first responders.

Wallace also noted that she helped pass A.6367, which expands disability benefits for volunteer firefighters and volunteer ambulance workers who sustain injuries while serving. This bill, which now awaits a vote in the Senate, would provide a weekly financial benefit for volunteers with permanent disability or partial permanent disability from a service-related injury.