A year after passing legislation that allowed 9/11 first responders to receive paid sick leave for the illnesses they contracted while working at the site of the World Trade Center, State Senators Todd Kaminsky and Martin Golden held a hearing on Sept. 17 to review their bill.
Kaminsky, a Democrat from Long Beach, and Golden, a Republican from Brooklyn, knew that the bill had helped hundreds of first responders from across New York. Since its passage, however, they learned that many were left without coverage. For about three hours, the senators heard often emotional testimony from emergency medical technicians, volunteer firefighters and other first responders, who spoke about the health and financial struggles brought on by their post- 9/11 illnesses.
Among the first responders was Franklin Square’s Carl Gerrato, 51, whose testimony Kaminsky and Golden described as a compelling argument in support of all first responders’ receiving the same benefits as those awarded to New York City employees.
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