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.

ACTION ALERT!! - OPPOSE S.5206 / A.7133

We need you to contact your Senator and Assemblymember ASAP
to OPPOSE New York State S.5206 / A.7133  introduced by Senator Gounardes / Assemblyman Abbate

Legislation Summary:

This bill requires minimum qualifications to serve as a chief in fire departments, fire districts, and fire protection districts with six or more career firefighters. The bill would require fire districts served by volunteer chiefs and assistant chiefs to hire paid chief officers. The training costs must be borne by the departments and districts. 


This legislation is a chapter amendment to Chapter 406 of the Laws of 2018, which created basic education, health, and physical fitness training benchmarks for fire chiefs in fire departments, fire districts, or fire protection districts that employ five or more paid fire fighters outside of New York City. The current law does not apply to volunteer fire chiefs in volunteer or combination departments.

Points of Opposition:
  • The bill would apply the current law to volunteer departments and districts by requiring volunteer or mixed departments to pay their chiefs. The existing law is for chiefs appointed under Civil Service Law (governs career firefighters). S.5206/A.7133 is an unprecedented and unreasonable encroachment on the General Municipal Law (governs volunteer firefighters). 
  • If this bill is signed into law, New York will become the only state in the Nation to set statewide qualifications for paid chiefs. 
  • This is an unfair financial burden that will place a further drain on the volunteer system and on local tax payers. 

Status of Legislation:

S.5206 will be on 3rd Reading on the Senate Calendar next week and can be voted on by the full Senate at any time.  

A.7133 is in the Assembly Governmental Employees Committee

What You Need to Do:

We need people to reach out to your Senator and Assemblymember or any of them that you have a relationship with, to voice your opposition to the legislation.


Go to nysenate.gov

 Go to https://www.nysenate.gov/find-my-senator to find your Senator

Contact your Senator and ask them to VOTE NO when this bill comes up for a vote in the Senate for the reasons outlined.


Go to https://nyassembly.gov/mem/  to find your Assemblyperson

Contact your Assemblymember and tell them that we oppose this bill, that is ready to be voted on in the Senate and is currently in the Assembly Governmental Employees Committee.

The following are members of that committee. If your Assemblymember is on this committee, ask them to VOTE NO if the bill comes up on an agenda for a vote:

Chair of the Committee and Sponsor of the Legislation: Assemblyman Abbate

Members of the Committee:

         Majority Members:                              Minority Members:
Aubry                                                  Malliotakis
Colton                                                 Johns
Cusick                                                 Palumbo      
Zebrowski                                           DeStefano
Pheffer Amato

Please email any feedback to:   trinaldi@afdsny.org

Reminder:  Fire District Officials can follow the progress of any Assembly or Senate Legislative Bill using this link: