Proclamations Declare Firefighter Appreciation Day and Fire Prevention Week in Honor of Fallen Heroes.
Albany, NY - October 9, 2018 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that 28 names will be added to the New York State Fallen Firefighters Memorial at the Empire State Plaza to honor the memory and heroism of the brave men and women who have lost their lives battling fires in the past year.
"It is critical that we honor our brave firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice for the communities they serve, to ensure their legacies are never forgotten," Governor Cuomo said. "We offer our heartfelt condolences to family, friends and colleagues who lost a loved one, and we pray for the safety of those who continue who put their lives on the line every day for the people of this great state."
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and other state officials recognized the 28 courageous individuals at the 21st Annual Fallen Firefighters Memorial Ceremony in Albany today as part of Firefighter Appreciation Day.
"The Fallen Firefighters Memorial honors the legacy of men and women who faced unthinkable danger with incredible courage," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who attended today's event. "This year, eight names will be added to the monument, along with the names of 20 firefighters who were taken by the injuries and illnesses that arose in the aftermath of 9/11. Each of their stories is a testament to the heroism that is part of everyday life for those who answer the call and put on their uniform. We honor their bravery, and keep their families and friends in our thoughts and prayers."
The individuals added to the wall this year can be found online here.
With the addition of these heroes, the Fallen Firefighters Memorial now honors 2,552 individuals who lost their lives in the line of duty. The Fallen Firefighters Memorial, dedicated in 1998, honors the memory and valor of New York's fallen firefighters at the memorial during Fire Prevention Week each year. The memorial pays tribute to the more than 100,000 New York State firefighters who put their lives on the line every day.
At today's ceremony, the Governor issued two proclamations to honor the state's career and volunteer firefighters, marking Tuesday, October 9 as Firefighter Appreciation Day and the week of October 7-13 as Fire Prevention Week.
In 2017, fire departments statewide responded to approximately 1,534,586 incidents - about 4,204 incidents each day, 175 incidents per hour, and approximately 2.92 incidents every minute.
"Today is a solemn day when we pay tribute to those who paid the ultimate price to help protect us, our loved ones, and our communities," said New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Roger L. Parrino Sr. "We mourn their sacrifice and vow to honor their memories for the sake of their fellow firefighters, their loved ones and the communities they bravely served."
Senate Majority Leader John J. Flanagan said, "On this solemn day, leaders from all across the state are gathered to recognize the bravery and heroism of those who have given their lives for the sake of others. By adding them to the Fallen Firefighters Memorial Wall, we honor the 28 individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice and are reminded every day of more than 180,000 firefighters who protect the lives of their fellow citizens statewide. Each and every one of the 2,552 names inscribed on the wall represent the best of New York, and their courage will never be forgotten."
Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, "The brave men and women who serve their communities and our state as firefighters are the very best among us. They run towards danger and risk their lives to save others. Those who made the ultimate sacrifice and fell in the line of duty are owed a debt of gratitude from all of us for their heroism, their selflessness, and for their bravery. As we pay tribute to our fallen firefighters, it is my hope that all New Yorkers take the time to truly appreciate these heroes and reflect on how their service has made our homes, communities, and state safer."
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said, "New Yorkers are blessed to have some of the most dedicated men and women protecting and serving our communities.Without hesitation, they selflessly put their lives at risk for our friends and loved ones. We could never thank them enough. Today, we honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice by enshrining their names into this most sacred memorial. May God bless them and their families."
Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb said, "Today we honor 28 fallen firefighters who personified courage, service and sacrifice. By adding the names of these extraordinary individuals to the Fallen Firefighters Memorial we salute their selfless bravery and recognize a debt that can never be repaid. As we pay tribute to our fallen heroes, my condolences are with the families and loved ones of those honored today, and my prayers are with all of New York's firefighters who put themselves in harm's way every day in order to keep us safe."
"On behalf of the men and women of the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control, I offer support and prayers to our fellow firefighters, friends and families of this year's honorees, as well as those from past years," said New York State Fire Administrator Francis "Skip" Nerney.
President Julius Leone, of the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs said, "We gather here to honor and remember our brothers and sisters that have paid the ultimate sacrifice in protecting their communities. By honoring them today, we hope their loved ones and their fire service families will find some comfort. Their actions of heroism are a testament to their dedication and bravery to the fire service. These brothers and sisters will forever remain in our hearts."
Steven Klein, President of the Firemen's Association of the State of New York said, "Today we pay tribute to those who have lost their lives in the performance of duty, many as a result of diseases caused by their service. It is imperative that we continue to find ways to better protect ourselves from the causes of these debilitating illnesses. To the families of those we have lost, we will never forget your loved ones. The addition of their names to this wall ensures their sacrifice will be remembered in perpetuity."
Samuel Fresina, President of the NYS Professional Fire Fighters Association said, "On behalf of the New York State Professional Fire Fighters Association, we honor the memories of our fallen brothers and sisters who lost their lives in service to all New Yorkers. Their bravery and sacrifice in the line of duty will never be forgotten. They will live on forever in our hearts."