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From the Desk of Senator Craig Johnson - February 19, 2010

Legislation to Qualify Volunteer Firefighters, Ambulance Workers for Health Coverage Passes Senate

The New York State Senate last week passed important legislation that would allow municipalities to offer health services and insurance to volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers, Senator Craig M. Johnson, (D-Nassau), announced. 

“Our volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers deal with dangerous situations day in and day out in order to help their neighbors and keep their neighborhoods safe,” Johnson said. “I am proud to have voted to allow these brave men and women this option to access to affordable health care.”

Johnson said this act, (S5111) was also drafted in-part to help with efforts to bolster and maintain the ranks of our volunteer fire companies and ambulance services.  Although the need for emergency services has risen, the number of volunteers has declined over the last decade.

“This is very dangerous work, and many who would like to join do not out of the fear of  health-care costs that could be associated with an injury,” said the senator. “This legislation will help attract more volunteers, which in-turn will help improve the safety of our communities.”

Individuals interested in volunteering should call their local fire department, or ambulance squad, or go to http://www. for more information.