By Matthew Ferremi, LI Herald:
Legislation introduced by State Sen. Todd Kaminsky, that protects the benefits of volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel was passed by the state assembly and senate.
The bill passed on May 27 that is co-sponsored by Kaminsky, who represents many South Shore volunteer fire departments and Assemblyman Fred Thiele, will protect the Length Of Service Award Program. The program provides pension benefits to volunteer firefighters who reach certain milestones. The measure now heads to Gov. Cuomo, where it will likely be signed into law.
“Our brave volunteer firefighters and emergency medical responders have been on the front lines during this pandemic, risking their lives for our communities,” Kaminsky said. “Due to a quirk in the law, the pensions of volunteer firefighters and EMTs were jeopardized — despite the fact that these courageous community members have been working harder than ever before during this pandemic. ”
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic restrictions has affected volunteer firefighters and their efforts to attain the required 50 points per year through responding to calls, taking part in training and being on call to be eligible for New York state’s length of service award program that serves as a pension fund for the firefighters.
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