Firefighter Appreciation Day and Fire Prevention Week Declared in Honor of New York's Firefighting Heroes
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that 23 names will be added to the New York State Fallen Firefighters Memorial at the Empire State Plaza to honor the memory and heroism of the brave men and women who have lost their lives battling fires in the past year.
"New York's firefighters risk their lives every day, and many have made the ultimate sacrifice while running toward danger to protect the communities they serve," Governor Cuomo said. "Firefighter Appreciation Day honors the legacies of these courageous men and women who sacrificed their lives to protect the people of this state and helps to ensure they will be remembered forever."
"The Fallen Firefighters Memorial honors the legacy of men and women who faced unthinkable danger with incredible courage," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This year, 23 names are being added to the monument, including the names of 10 firefighters who were taken by the injuries and illnesses that arose in the aftermath of 9/11. Each of their stories is a testament to the heroism that is part of everyday life for those who answer the call and put on their uniform. We honor their bravery, and the bravery and sacrifice of their families and loved ones."
The individuals added to the wall this year can be found online at here.
With the addition of those added to the Memorial today, the Fallen Firefighters Memorial now honors 2,575 individuals who lost their lives in the line of duty. The Fallen Firefighters Memorial, dedicated in 1998, honors the memory and valor of New York's fallen firefighters at the memorial each year. The memorial also pays tribute to more than 100,000 New York State active firefighters who put their lives on the line every day in the name of public safety.
At today's ceremony, the Governor issued two proclamations to honor the state's career and volunteer firefighters, marking Tuesday, October 8, 2019 as Firefighter Appreciation Day and the week of October 6-12, 2019 as Fire Prevention Week. Every day, the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control works in partnership with local fire departments, fire service organizations, school districts, civic groups and the National Fire Protection Association to provide information and programs about the importance of fire safety awareness.
In 2018, fire departments statewide responded to approximately 1,591,572 incidents - about 4,360 incidents each day, 182 incidents per hour and approximately 3.03 incidents every minute.
New York State Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Patrick A. Murphy said, "Today we honor the memory of 23 brave souls who gave their lives trying to make their communities a safer place. As we stand with their loved ones in mourning, let us never forget the courage and sacrifice of these heroes and use them as examples which, we as New Yorkers, should all try to live up to."
New York State Fire Administrator Francis Nerney said, "The prayers and thoughts of the men and women of the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control are with all of the fellow firefighters, friends and families of this year's honorees. Let us honor them and all those who have gone before us, that we may recognize and give thanks for their courage, and the sacrifice they made."
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, "New York's firefighters selflessly stand in the face of danger, risking their lives to protect their fellow New Yorkers. These brave men and women are true heroes, and those firefighters who have made the ultimate sacrifice must be honored and remembered for their bravery and dedication. These fallen firefighters are owed a tremendous debt of gratitude, and we must take pause to appreciate and reflect on how their service has made our homes, communities, and state safer."
Senate Minority Leader John J. Flanagan said, "On this solemn day, we add 23 names to the Fallen Firefighters Memorial Wall to signify their ultimate sacrifice. As we pay tribute to them, we are reminded of the thousands of courageous men and women now represented on this wall, and we salute the more than 180,000 firefighters who protect the lives of their fellow citizens statewide. Along with my Senate colleagues, I offer my sincerest condolences to the families of these selfless individuals. New York State is blessed to be served by such professional, valiant, and dedicated men and women, and we are forever in their debt for the service and the support of their families."
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said, "The courageous individuals honored today answered a higher calling and in doing so, they made the ultimate sacrifice. When others ran from danger, they ran towards it. They gave their lives protecting our friends and loved ones, and we could never thank them enough. May this sacred memorial and today's service reflect our commitment to preserving their legacy."
Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb said, "The 23 brave souls we recognize today are proof that heroes are real. New York's firefighters selflessly put the lives of others before their own, and what these courageous professionals did for their communities, for their neighbors, is immeasurable. The sacrifice of these incredible individuals will now be etched in history forever. To all those we have lost, and those who continue to serve our state with unyielding dedication, I offer my sincerest thanks; and to the families and loved ones of the fallen, my sincerest condolences."
President Julius Leone, of the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs said, "We gather here to honor and remember our brothers and sisters that have paid the ultimate sacrifice in protecting their communities. By honoring them today, we hope their loved ones and their fire service families will find some comfort. Their actions of heroism are a testament to their dedication and bravery to the fire service. These brothers and sisters will forever remain in our hearts."
Steven Klein, President of the Firemen's Association of the State of New York said, "Today we pay tribute to those who have lost their lives in the performance of duty, many as a result of diseases caused by their service. It is imperative that we continue to find ways to better protect ourselves from the causes of these debilitating illnesses. To the families of those we have lost, we will never forget your loved ones. The addition of their names to this wall ensures their sacrifice will be remembered in perpetuity."
Samuel Fresina, President of the NYS Professional Fire Fighters Association said, "On behalf of the New York State Professional Fire Fighters Association, we honor the memories of our fallen brothers and sisters who lost their lives in service to all New Yorkers. Their bravery and sacrifice in the line of duty will never be forgotten. They will live on forever in our hearts."