OUR MISSION

The Association of Fire Districts of the State of New York, a not-for-profit corporation, works to improve the fiscal responsibility, efficiency and effectiveness of the fire district management through education, training and advocacy for commissioners and other fire district officials in the 57 counties outside of the City of New York.

NYS Cancer Benefit Program - Chapter Amendments Introduced.

On February 20th 2019, NYS Assembly person Aileen M. Gunther introduced new bill number A5957 to include  Chapter amendments related to proof of eligibility for the newly enacted volunteer firefighter enhanced cancer disability benefits program.

In the bill Assembly person Gunther stated that “The volunteer firefighter disability benefit program provides financial protections to those volunteer firefighters that have contracted cancer as a result of their firefighting duties. As the program has begun to be implemented, there have been a number of departments that have been unable to properly identify those members eligible due to circumstances beyond their control. In some instances, there have been departments that have lost records and some who, following State Education Department guidelines, have only kept records for six years. Additionally, there are some older interior Firefighters who were not required to take a fit test as currently required and therefore are having difficulty proving eligibility. The proposed legislation would clarify the current law and allow for an additional verification method so that no firefighter is excluded from the program who otherwise is eligible”.
The bill was referred to local governments committee.
 
Summary of Specific Provisions:
 
Section 1 of the bill amends subparagraph (ii) of paragraph a of subdivision 1 of section 205-cc of the general municipal law to clarify that the requirements for eligibility under the program as an interior fire fighter shall also include the applicable National Fire Protection Association standards for mask fit testing. In addition, section 1 clarifies that in the absence of contemporaneously prepared documentation maintain by a fire istrict, department or company, a statement by the chief of the department or the chief administrative officer of the authority having jurisdiction attesting that the firefighter has met the eligibility qualifications.
 
Bill changes and chapter 8 addition as introduced:

Section 1. Subparagraph (ii) of paragraph of subdivision 1 of section 205-cc of the general municipal law, as amended by chapter 334 of the laws of 2017, is amended and a new subdivision 8 is added to read as follows:
(ii) Having submitted proof of five years of interior firefighting service by providing verification that he or she has passed at least five yearly certified mask fitting tests as set forth in 29 CFR 1910.134 or the [current] applicable National Fire Protection Association  standard for mask fit testing.

8.  In the absence of contemporaneously prepared documentation maintained by the fire district, department or company evidencing the proof required in this section, a statement signed by the chief of the department or the chief administrative officer of the authority having jurisdiction attesting to the firefighter's compliance with the eligibility requirements set forth in paragraph a of subdivision one of this section shall be deemed to be sufficient proof of eligibility.

§ 2. This act shall take effect immediately. [If passed and signed by the Governor]: