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Senator John Brooks Honored by Firemen's Association for Exceptional Support of Volunteer Fire Service

Written by Chris Boyle  |  22. November 2021

The Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY) honored Senator John E. Brooks with the 2021 FASNY Golden Trumpet Award during their 88th Annual Legislative Conference in Albany on November 7th.
 
Historically this honor has been awarded to New York State legislators, government officials and others who have demonstrated exceptional support for and assistance to the volunteer fire service.
 
Senator Brooks, from the 8th Senate District representing portions of Nassau and Suffolk Counties along the South Shore of Long Island, is being honored for his long-standing support of the volunteer fire service. His accomplishments are many, including sponsoring, supporting, and advocating for multiple pieces of legislation that are critical to the volunteer fire service. A longtime volunteer firefighter and Fire Chief himself, Senator Brooks understands the sacrifice and dedication that the more than 85,000 volunteer firefighters in New York State make on a daily basis.
 
Important issues and the Senator’s advocacy include: 
 
  • Senator Brooks sponsored a bill that would directly protect New Yorkers against the threat to home fires. S1383 provides prospective homeowners who are planning new construction with a cost estimate for installation of a fire sprinkler systems as a means to encourage additional fire safety in their home. In 2019, New York State had the highest number of home fire deaths in the nation; sprinkler systems reduce the spread of flames in the event of a fire and as a result lessen overall damage. The bill was signed by Governor Hochul Wednesday, November 3rd.
  • For many years, FASNY sought for changes to the State Building Code. Brooks, along with Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski fought for critical legislation that would create a new penalty on building owners that for the purposes of making building safer for firefighters to enter during an incident. Illegal and dangerous building modifications make it dangerous for firefighters to respond to emergencies, a danger Senator Brooks knows all too well as a volunteer firefighter. The bill was passed and signed by the governor.
  • The “Heart Bill” is a FASNY initiative which created a presumption that a volunteer firefighter’s death or disability due to a heart attack is related to his or her volunteer firefighting activity. This law has been extended numerous times since its enactment. Senator Brooks worked to expand the existing heart bill to include firefighters who suffered vascular ruptures, which were not included in the original Volunteer Firefighter's Benefits (VFBL) legislation.
  • Brooks has sponsored a vital bill named “The Fair Play Ambulance Cost Recovery For Fire Departments” which would allow fire departments to recover the costs of ambulance services to even the playing field with all other ambulance providers across the state. Senator Brooks began to work diligently and successfully to get this bill passed in the Senate in 2019, 2020 and 2021. Prior to this, the bill has never passed the Senate dating back to when it was first introduced by Senator Rath in 1999.
 
“It is an honor to be recognized by a group of hardworking and selfless individuals who ensure the safety and wellbeing of the people of New York State,” said Senator John E. Brooks. “The dedication of our state’s volunteers is inspiring, and I am thankful for this award. The opportunity to advocate on behalf of New York’s firefighters is a great honor.”
 
“Senator Brooks has stood by FASNY and the volunteer firefighters and EMS responders on Long Island and throughout the state on key issues,” said FASNY President John P. Farrell. “It is my privilege to present the FASNY Golden Trumpet Award to a longtime fellow volunteer firefighter and past Fire Chief for his lifelong and vital support of the critical needs of the firefighters in New York State. His dedication to supporting legislation that directly helps the fire responders of New York State not only benefits first responders but helps the residents of New York immensely.”

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