Contact: Mike Fraser, office: (518) 455-3751/cell: (518) 859-8518
Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C,I,Ref-Canandaigua) issued the following statement regarding the unanimous passage of the Volunteer Firefighter Cancer Disability Benefit Program:
"Volunteer firefighters now have access to critical health care services available to their paid counterparts. Expanding the benefits these first responders can receive will result in better care and treatment, and hopefully save lives. Protecting the brave men and women who protect New York's communities is the least we can do.
I'm proud to have introduced this bill five years ago, and grateful for the support it has received in both the Assembly and Senate. The Legislature has done its part to ensure volunteer firefighters are afforded adequate insurance coverage. I now urge Gov. Cuomo to sign this common-sense measure into law."
The legislation (A.711-B, Kolb) was first introduced in the Assembly by Leader Kolb in 2012, and was inspired by the memory of Matthew Foe, a volunteer firefighter from Geneva. In January 2012, Mr. Foe visited with legislators to advocate for expanded health benefits for volunteer firefighters. Only days later, he lost his battle with cancer and passed away at age 40.
Once signed by the governor, the measure will provide an enhanced cancer disability benefit for volunteer firefighters with five or more years of service.