Alesi Bill To Aid Volunteer Firefighters Passes State Senate

James S. Alesi

June 12, 2008

    Senator Jim Alesi (R- Perinton) ) today announced that the State Senate has passed his bill (S.2597) which would increase the benefits received by totally disabled volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers in New York State.

    "Volunteers are the lifeblood of fire companies and emergency service corps throughout the state," said Senator Alesi. "These brave men and women put their life on the line day in and day out to protect the safety of others. The least we can do, as a State, to thank them for their unselfish service, is adequately compensate them for their injuries incurred in the line of duty."

    The bill, sponsored by Senator Alesi, amends the Volunteer Firefighters' Benefit law, in relation to the payment of benefits. Volunteer firefighters who are injured in the course of their volunteer service are eligible under State law to receive workers' compensation for their injuries. The State has enacted these benefits in recognition that these volunteers provide enormously important services to our communities.

    Chapter 574 of the laws of 1998, raised the benefit level for all volunteer firefighters with permanent total disabilities to the maximum amount of $400 a week regardless of their date of injury. Recognizing that inflationary forces make it increasingly difficult to subsist on a fixed income, this legislation would increase the maximum benefits to $450.