A bill sponsored by New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. that is designed to ensure volunteer firefighters and EMS do not lose their jobs because they missed work while responding to a declared state of emergency has passed the Assembly.
“Whether it be a natural disaster like Superstorm Sandy or a man-made disaster like the brush fires that caused so much devastation to Long Island’s East End last year, my constituents depended upon the volunteers who responded at a moment’s notice to provide necessary emergency services,” Mr. Thiele said in a press release. “As the demand for these dedicated men and women continues to rise, they should be fully confident that their jobs are not in jeopardy when they are called upon to protect and serve our communities in a time of crisis.”
When asked if the bill was written in response to specific incidences of volunteer firefighters or emergency medical responders losing their jobs, Assemblyman Thiele said no, but added that it “was written in response to incidents where jobs were threatened.”
The bill has passed both houses of the State Legislature, having been approved by the Senate on June 3, If the governor signs the legislation, New York will be the ninth state in the country to have passed statutes to protect volunteers.
Mr. Thiele sponsored the bill on behalf of the Fireman’s Association of the State of New York. While not a sponsor of the Senate’s bill, Senator Kenneth P. LaValle voted to approve it.