Assemblyman Michael Montesano (R,C,I-Glen Head) and the Assembly Minority Conference are pleased to announce a bill which calls for financial aid for volunteer firefighters and EMS workers who have been working around the clock amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the proposed legislation, the Conference has also addressed a letter to the president and New Yorks congressional delegation to request funding to help cover the costs accrued while trying to acquire the necessary equipment to help with the COVID-19 crisis.
While times are tough for us financially, individually and as a state, if we can provide some relief to some of those working the front line of this pandemic, its a step in the right direction to helping us all, said Montesano. These are individuals who are volunteering to put their lives at risk in order to help those stricken with this terrible virus. These are companies which rely on donations and fundraising, something that is extremely hard to do now due to others struggling financially and social distancing regulations. In order to keep them continuing to help our communities, we must provide some relief to keep them going. I hope that the rest of the state legislature will move forward with us on this and on a federal level our requests are heard.
This bill calls for reimbursement for personal protective equipment (PPE) on a federal level and for federal aid to be given to first responders placed under quarantine due to exposure or lost wages due to their primary jobs being closed. In addition to this, the Conference has also introduced legislation to create the New York State Volunteer Fire Protection Emergency Reimbursement Account. This will help volunteer fire companies, departments, districts and EMS to receive reimbursement for expenses relating to procuring PPE and revenue lost due to municipal budget cuts or restrictions in fundraising opportunities due to COVID-19.
Find the letter here.