October 7, 2014
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Proclaims Annual Firefighter Appreciation Day and Fire Prevention Week

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Honors New York firefighters on day of 17th annual Fallen Firefighters Memorial Ceremony

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today commemorated the 17th Annual Fallen Firefighters Memorial Ceremony by issuing two proclamations honoring the State’s career and volunteer firefighters. The proclamations mark October 7 as the annual Firefighter Appreciation Day, and October 5-11 as New York’s annual Fire Prevention Week. During today’s Fallen Firefighters Memorial Ceremony in Albany, nine brave individuals were added to the Memorial.

“Today we honor New York firefighters who time and time again put their lives on the line to help their neighbors and keep their communities safe,” Governor Cuomo said. “We also honor the memory of nine selfless individuals from across this state who paid the ultimate price in the line of duty. Their names will never be forgotten and will forever be in our thoughts and prayers.”

Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy said, “These extraordinarily brave individuals made the ultimate sacrifice protecting our state, and this dedication both remembers these fallen heroes and extends our appreciation to those that selflessly serve each day. Today we honor these firefighters who kept New Yorkers out of harm’s way as well as their families who were there for them every step of the way. Their bravery will never be forgotten, and New York State is eternally grateful for their fearless commitment to safety and service.”

Including the nine fallen firefighters whose names were added to the Fallen Firefighter Memorial today, there are now the names of 2,390 firefighters who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. This year’s additions are:

  • Thomas J. Burley, Firefighter, Youngstown Volunteer Fire Company, Niagara County, June 18, 2013
  • John M. Janos, Firefighter, Binghamton Fire Department, Broome County, April 6, 2013
  • Matthew J. Porcari, Captain, Owego Fire Department, Tioga County, January 22, 2013
  • Timothy J. Lamere, Assistant Chief, Constable Fire Department, Franklin County, August 21, 2012
  • Antonio C. Rodriques, Firefighter, Yonkers Fire Department, Westchester County, July 31, 2012
  • Joseph P. DiBernardo, Lieutenant, New York City Fire Department, Bronx County, November 22, 2011
  • Michael D. Sowich, Firefighter, New Hartford Fire Department, Oneida County, March 2, 2007
  • Bernard E. Bauman, Firefighter, Laurelton Fire Department, Monroe County, August 27, 1952
  • Arthur E. Sink, Firefighter, Laurelton Fire Department, Monroe County, August 27, 1952

The Fallen Firefighter Memorial, dedicated in 1998, honors the memory and the valor of our fallen firefighters commemorated at the Memorial during Fire Prevention Week each year, as well as pays tribute to the over 100,000 New York State firefighters who put their lives on the line every day. Fire Departments statewide respond to approximately 1.8 million incidents each year, which represents approximately 5,100 incidents daily, 215 incidents per hour, and four incidents a minute.

Senate Co-Leader Dean G. Skelos said, “The New York State Fallen Firefighters Memorial is an everlasting symbol of our gratitude for our fallen firefighter’s valor and courage. This memorial now honors the names of 2,381 brave men and women who have lost their lives while trying to save others. And today we are adding nine more. I offer my sincerest condolences to the families and the respective fire departments of these brave men. Firefighters risk their lives every day to protect our communities, they deserve our admiration and respect for their bravery and heroism.”

Senate Majority Coalition Co-Leader Jeff Klein said, "The brave firefighters who willingly risk their lives every day across New York rightfully deserve this special recognition. New York State is proud to commemorate the lives of those who serve a cause greater than their own in order to protect our families and communities. With this official designation, we applaud their continued heroism and remain fully committed to supporting them and their families."

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said, “New Yorkers know the sacrifices that firefighters make for our communities, and these men and women are heroes in every sense of the word. They do not flinch in the face of danger and do whatever it takes to ensure the safety of our families and neighbors, and for that we are eternally grateful. The Fallen Firefighters Memorial allows us to pause and honor the bravery, sacrifice and service of these incredible heroes.”

Jerome M. Hauer, Commissioner, New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services said, “Firefighters are keenly aware of the hard and dangerous job that they train for every day and yet without hesitation, they are often the first responders on the scene of an incident that can put their lives in jeopardy. Today we honor the brave men and women who died protecting the lives and property of others and we once again show our appreciation to those who continue to serve the citizens of New York State.”

Bryant D. Stevens, New York State Fire Administrator said, “Each year, we recognize one week in October as Fire Prevention Week and focus our attention to fire’s hazards and dangers. While this action is important, we as a society need to continue this focus so that it is in our minds and our actions every day of our lives. Fire is an ever present threat, and if each New Yorker realizes that they have the ability to reduce this threat though their knowledge and their behaviors, we will have a safer New York”

Chief Donald Corkery, President, New York State Association of Fire Chiefs said, "I join fellow fire chiefs and firefighters from across New York state in honoring our comrades who made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting the citizens of their communities. We honor the families of the fallen, as well as their brother and sister emergency responders who continue to serve each day."

Robert McConville, President, Firemen’s Association of the State of New York said, “Every year thousands of firefighters across the State respond to millions of emergency calls, placing themselves in harm’s way to come to the aid of their neighbors. Sadly, some never make it home. Today we pay tribute to those we have lost by honoring their tremendous sacrifice. They will never be forgotten.”

Michael McManus, President, New York State Professional Fire Fighters Association said, “The New York State Professional Fire Fighters honor our brave members who have paid the supreme sacrifice. We will never forget all those that went before us with great courage.”

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