Co-Sponsored Stec Bill to Support Injured Firefighters Signed Into Law

Daniel G. Stec

December 22, 2021

Chief James Brook Jr. Act honors fallen local hero, assists fellow heroes  

           Legislation co-sponsored by Senator Dan Stec (R,C,I-Queensbury) that adds vascular rupture to the list of injuries covered under the Volunteer Firefighters’ Benefit Law was officially signed by Gov. Hochul today.  

            Called the Chief James Brook Jr. Act (S4562), it honors a fallen local hero. Chief James Brooks Jr. was a second assistant fire chief for the Whitehall Volunteer Fire Company, who served his community for over 27 years.  On May 2, 2020, he suffered an aortic rupture while responding to a structural fire in the Town of Dresden, Washington County, and succumbed on September 17, 2020 due to complications from that injury.  

After the New York State Workers Compensation Board determined that Brooks’ injury did not qualify for insurance coverage, Senator Stec swiftly took action and supported this bi-partisan legislation to ensure that injured heroes like the late Chief Brooks receive the medical coverage they need and deserve.  

            “Volunteer firefighters risk their health and lives to help our communities and they deserve the utmost respect and support,” Stec said. “When Chief Brooks was tragically hurt in the line of duty, the insurance fund for volunteer firefighters should have covered his injuries.  

            “The Chief James Brook Jr. Act ensures his heroism and service are never forgotten, and it ensure that volunteer firefighters who suffer a similar injury receive the benefits and medical coverage they deserve,” he added. “I’d like to thank Gov. Hochul for signing this essential bill into law and my colleagues for passing this bi-partisan measure supporting our volunteer firefighters.”