(Front row from left to right: James Sullivan, Jennifer McNamara, Christopher Horgan, Norman R. Cerullo, Senator Greg Ball, Larry Sullivan Jr., Rich Palmer and John Feal)
Brewster, N.Y. – 9/10/2013 – On the eve of the 12th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, Senator Greg Ball is urging Governor Cuomo to sign a bill into law that would correct a flaw in the FDNY legacy points system that has knocked the dreams of children of 9-11 heroes seeking to serve in their parents’ footsteps.
The Daily News, Fox News and other media outlets have covered the compelling stories of these children. The news reports explain that the dreams of these children in becoming firefighters to follow in the footsteps of their parents who died of Ground Zero-related illnesses has slipped because of a complicated legacy points system that inexplicably awards such points to children of EMTs and siblings of firefighters who died as a result of Ground Zero rescue and recovery illnesses, but does not award those points to the children of firefighters who made the same ultimate sacrifice.
Senator Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson), Chairman of the Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee, has passed a piece of legislation (S5585) to rectify the injustice to these young men. Highlighting a staple of Senator Ball’s efforts to work with both parties in the legislature, and further highlighting the straightforward equity the bill seeks to achieve, the bill passed swiftly in both chambers of the legislature. However, the bill remains unsigned and with each passing day, the affected children’s dreams of following in their parents’ footsteps become less likely. Senator Ball has now created a petition that he is asking residents to sign.
“September 11th is an extremely emotional time of year for these children that lost their parents and our heroes. We lost so many brave souls on 9-11 and we still reel from those senseless murders by gutless cowards. What some do not know is that many of those brave enough to respond and blessed enough to survive on 9-11 are suffering and dying from ailments connected to their time spent at and around Ground Zero. Many sucked in a ‘witches brew’ of poisons destroying their bodies. We must honor their sacrifice by giving their children the same opportunity we currently give to children of EMT’s and siblings of police officers and firefighters who were killed the day of,” said Senator Greg Ball. “I am urging everyone to sign this petition to send a strong message to Governor Cuomo that we want this piece of legislation signed into law to honor those that have given so much for us.”
The bill clarifies existing law by defining the term “killed in the line of duty” to include deaths that were the natural and proximate result of either the attacks on September 11, 2001 or participating in the rescue effort that was conducted in response to the attacks on September 11, 2001.
Often times, legacy points make the difference between deserving candidates languishing on civil service lists for years or being selected to fulfill their dreams of following in their fallen parent’s footsteps in becoming first responders.
James Tancredi, son of Lt. Vincent Tancredi who passed away in 2008 from a 9/11 illness said this is a very emotional time of year for his family.
“The upcoming anniversary of the 9/11 attacks is an emotional time for all Americans. In particularly those directly affected, like my family among many others. Our parents paid the ultimate sacrifice as a direct result of the rescue and recovery effort at ground zero. We are just looking for equal treatment to the siblings of fellow firefighters and children of EMTs who also passed away heroically,” said Tancredi. “We ask Governor Cuomo to please sign bill S5585 in order to correct an oversight, which took away our legacy points, and help our dreams become a reality.”
John Sullivan Jr., son of John Sullivan – Ladder 34, who passed away in 2010 from a Sept. 11 illness said he is urging Governor Cuomo to honor his father.
“To quote Governor Cuomo himself, ‘As New Yorkers and Americans gather on the anniversary of the tragic terrorist attacks, we pause once again to remember those we lost and the enormous sacrifice of the brave heroes who rushed into the gravest of dangers.’ Our fathers RUSHED to answer when called upon. We now ask the Governor answer ours,” said Sullivan. “My father was taken from me as result of his actions that day. I only ask that his legacy be recognized accordingly.”
For more information contact Joe Bachmeier at Joe@ball4ny.com or (845) 531-9796.