Issues: Firefighters


Bill to Help Protect Responders Drawing Statewide Interest—and Support

The Firemen’s Association of New York State, representing tens of thousands of volunteer firefighters from Montauk to Morristown, and Cape Vincent to Cattaraugus County, has joined in urging state legislators to support Senator Patty Ritchie’s proposed “Mark’s Law.”

The measure (S.4717) is named to honor Jefferson County EMT Mark Davis, who was shot to death while responding to an emergency call. It provides that the killing of an emergency first responder, volunteer and paid firefighter, ambulance driver, paramedic, physician or nurse involved in an emergency team would be classified as First Degree murder, and punishable by the stiffest penalty allowed under New York law—life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

“The Firemen’s Association of New York State is the state’s premier organization representing our volunteer fire service,” Senator Ritchie said. “I am very pleased that they are joining me to do everything we can to protect our bravest who go out to respond to calls for help from their neighbors and friends.”

June 3, 2011

Senator Gianaris participates in rally protesting the closure of Ladder 128 in Long Island City.

Senator Gianaris joined Stephen Cassady, head of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, Al Hagan head of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Councilmembers Jimmy Van Bramer and Elizabeth Crowley, Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan and local residents to protest the proposed closure of Ladder Company 128 .

May 31, 2011


Asks Friends, Family Of Emergency Workers To Go To Website At To Sign On-Line Petition

State Senator Patty Ritchie asked Watertown firefighters on Thursday to sign her on-line petition in support of "Mark's Law," (S4717) a measure that would impose the state's maximum criminal penalty for anyone who kills firefighters or emergency workers.

The bill was named for the late Mark Davis who was shot to death while responding to an emergency in Cape Vincent.

Senator Ritchie asked the firefighters sign her on-line petition on her Senate website at and to ask their families and friends to support the measure.

May 27, 2011

Pols decry plan to close Ladder 128

Queens Times Ledger asked Senator Gianaris to comment on the closure of Ladder 128 in Long Island City.


State Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) said that given the population boom and the increased number of high-rise condominiums being built in Long Island City, closing the firehouse would be “a horrible mistake.” He said when Long Island City previously lost Engine 261 in Long Island City, which closed in 2003, response times lengthened.

“The last thing we need is to lose a ladder company,” Gianaris said.

The senator also said he would work to make sure the city reverses its decision, and if anything the area needs more fire services.

May 26, 2011

Lawmakers Vehemently Oppose Fire Company Closings

Queens Gazette asked Senator Gianaris to comment on the fire company closures announced by Mayor Bloomberg. In Gianaris' district, Ladder 128 is scheduled to be closed.

The release last week of the city’s long awaited list of fire company closings has Queens lawmakers fuming, vowing to keep open as many of the targeted units as possible.

The list, released by FDNY officials on May 18, includes four Queens fire companies in neighborhoods scattered across the borough:

•Ladder 128, 33-51 Greenpoint Ave., Sunnyside

•Engine 306, 40-18 214th Pl., Bayside

•Engine 294, 101-20 Jamaica Ave., Richmond Hill

May 25, 2011

Senator Greg Ball and Rob Astorino, Westchester County Executive: Fighting for the Repeal of the MTA Payroll Tax and Supporting a Full Forensic Audit of the MTA


YORKTOWN NY (April 27th 2011) Senator Greg Ball (R, C-Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess) was joined by Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, Westchester County Legislator John Testa and Yorktown Town Councilman Councilman Dr. Terrence Murphy (R, I – Jefferson Valley) at a press conference today to support Senator Ball’s legislation fully repealing the MTA payroll tax, and providing for an immediate full forensic accounting of the MTA.

 Senator Ball’s legislation S4716, exempts self-employed persons, localities, school districts and not for profit corporations from the MTA mobility tax. The Senator is also proposing legislation which will repeal the MTA taxes on school districts by the end of 2016. As well as a measure that will require the MTA to attend the majority of public hearings on fare hikes in order to cast a vote.

May 24, 2011


Demands Mayor Keep Ladder 128 Open

Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris is fighting against the closure of Ladder 128, a fire company located in Long Island City, Queens at 33-51 Greenpoint Avenue. This fire company recently celebrated its 100th Anniversary and serves the neighborhoods of Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City and Greenpoint.

Mayor Bloomberg has announced that he is planning on closing 20 fire companies across New York City. Ladder 128 is one of four fire companies in Queens marked for closure.

May 23, 2011

Local district faces firehouse closing

Sunnyside Post asked Senator Gianaris to comment on the possible closure of Ladder 128.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to close as many as 20 firehouses – including one in Long Island City—has drawn the scorn of many of this district’s politicians.

Ladder Company 128, which serves Sunnyside, Woodside, LIC, Blissville and Greenpoint, is among those firehouses that face the chopping block.

State Sen. Mike Gianaris said that “the closure of ladder company 128 would increase response times and would have a detrimental effect on the safety of people in western queens.” Gianaris added that the closure made little sense at a time when the area is expanding and developers are building more high-rise buildings.

May 23, 2011

Senator Martins Helps Injured Firefighter

From the New Hyde Park Illustrated News, an Anton Community Newspaper

Members of the volunteer fire services are used to coming to the aid of others. Knowing the value of volunteer firefighters in Nassau County communities, New York State Senator Jack M. Martins was glad to help one of the members of New Hyde Park’s Fire Department’s bravest.

Last Feb. 4, members of the New Hyde Park Fire Department responded to a fire in the basement of a home on 6th Avenue in New Hyde Park. Several firefighters were injured fighting the blaze including Max Devane, who was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Injured firefighter Max Devane has a chance to thank New York State Senator Jack Martins for helping him receive his SUNY Maritime deposit.

May 23, 2011

Senator Martins Attends Installation For Floral Park Centre Fire Company

Senator Jack M. Martins recently attended the 86th Annual Installation Dinner Dance for the Floral Park Centre Fire Company.

Among the honorees were: Thomas Garland for 25 years of service; James Ficht and Thomas Freeman for 25 years of service; William Delgado, Leonard Garofalo, Thomas Garofalo and Kenneth Weigel for 20 years of service and Kevin Moon for five years of service.

Also, ex-chief John A. Brady received honors posthumously for his service to the company.  

May 16, 2011


Bill Makes Killing Emergency Responders 1st Degree Murder

State Senator Patty Ritchie has introduced “Mark’s Law,” a bill to make the killing of emergency first responders first degree murder, punishable by the stiffest penalty allowed by law - life without parole.

The bill, S 4717, was introduced in memory of Mark Davis, the emergency medical technician who was shot to death while responding to a call for help in Cape Vincent on January 30, 2009.

May 13, 2011

Emergency Services Volunteer Incentive Act

Albany, N.Y.—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R-C, Corning) have introduced legislation aimed at helping localities fend off potentially enormous future local property tax increases by offering incentives to recruit and retain volunteer firefighters and other emergency services personnel.

May 4, 2011

Senator Martins Speaks to Association of Fire Districts of the State of New York

On a recent Friday morning, Senator Jack M. Martins had the opportunity to travel to Lake Placid to speak to the Association of Fire Districts of the State of New York. Senator Martins spoke about legislation he sponsored that strengthens the consolidation law. The legislation makes it clearer for residents to under the ramifications of consolidating or dissolving a special district. Prior to making such as decision, residents should know who would pick up their fire fighting services if they were to considering dissolving a fire district. As the chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Local Governments, Senator Martins is well aware of the value of the fire services in the Seventh Senate District and around the state.

May 3, 2011

Senator Martins Attends Fundraiser For Firefighter Max Devane

On February 4, the New Hyde Park Fire Department was called to a fire on 6th Avenue. Among those firefighters who responded was Max Devane of Estates Engine Company #3. Devane was seriously injured while battling the basement fire, requiring five weeks of hospitalization and rehabilitation to recover from his injuries. He even had to withdraw from classes at SUNY Maritime, where he was going to school.

On Friday, April 29, a benefit was held for Max Devane at the Protection Quarters. Senator Jack M. Martins attended to show his support. "I had to come out and show my support for Max. He is one of New Hyde Park's bravest and deserves the support of the community. When the community needed him, Max answered the call," said Senator Martins.

May 2, 2011
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