Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation to ensure that any firefighter who is killed while performing services in the line of duty has their name included on the Fallen Firefighter Memorial. The new law ensures that the both volunteer and professional firefighters who lost their lives while protecting others are subject to the same criteria for inclusion on the Memorial.
"The Fallen Firefighters Memorial honors the lives of our state's bravest men and women who died while protecting others," Governor Cuomo said. "Every firefighter who has paid the ultimate sacrifice while protecting their community deserves to be recognized for their courage and heroic service. This new law will ensure that New York State properly recognizes the extraordinary sacrifice of all firefighters who died while putting their lives on the line and that their memory is preserved forever. I commend Majority Leader Skelos, Speaker Silver, and Assembly Member Weisenberg for their hard work on this important legislation."
Under previous law, only firefighters who were killed as a direct and proximate result of a line of duty injury had their names included on the wall. In 2006, a 42-year-old firefighter named Paul Brady was killed as a result of injuries sustained from falling off a fire engine that was accidentally moved. Brady's name was not approved for the Memorial as he did not die while fighting fires. The new law signed today by Governor Cuomo expands the criteria for inclusion on the wall to ensure that fallen firefighters like Brady are included in the Memorial and recognized for their bravery and sacrifice. The law takes effect immediately.
The New York State Fallen Firefighters Memorial is located on the Empire State Plaza, adjacent to The Egg. The wall bearing the names of the fallen was dedicated in 1999, and includes more than 2,300 names with the earliest dating from a death in 1811.
Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos said, "Our firefighters put their lives on the line each and every time they respond to a distress call. They all deserve our respect, and those that give their lives in the service of others while in the line of duty deserve to be included in a lasting memorial such as the New York State Fallen Firefighters Memorial. Paul Brady was a hero and I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this important bill."
Assembly Member Harvey Weisenberg said, "I am greatly appreciative to Governor Cuomo and his counsels, who provided valuable assistance in ensuring these firefighters are recognized for their sacrifice."