(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)
Albany, N.Y. – 01/20/2014 – Senator Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson), Chairman of the Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee, is happy to announce that Governor Cuomo has signed a chapter amendment to remove the last bureaucratic obstacle allowing children of 9/11 heroes to receive legacy points to serve in their parents’ footsteps.
Senator Greg Ball first met with the group in June of 2013. The children’s dreams of become firefighters to follow in the footsteps of their parents, who died of Ground Zero-related illnesses, slipped away after they received letters notifying them they wouldn’t receive legacy points. Due to a loophole in the law, points were only awarded to children of firefighters and cops who died on the day of the attacks. Points were also awarded to children of EMTs and siblings of firefighters who died as a result of rescue and recovery illnesses, but not to the children of firefighters who made the same ultimate sacrifice.
After the meeting, Senator Greg Ball swiftly worked with his colleagues to successfully pass a piece of legislation (S5585) that would rectify the injustice. However, the legislation was signed into Law on September 27th, shortly after New York City already started hiring off the list. This left a handful of applicants in limbo. Senator Ball again worked diligently with his colleagues to fix the final loophole and make a chapter amendment to allow these children to join the FDNY.
“When I met these young men a few months back, I made my commitment to do everything in my power to correct this injustice. We swiftly acted to pass legislation and then to make amendments to do the right thing for these children. I would like to salute all my colleagues in the Senate and Assembly as well as the Governor for seeing the importance in giving these children the opportunity they deserve to fulfill their dreams of following in their fallen parents’ footsteps in becoming first responders,” said Senator Greg Ball. “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. This new law will honor their sacrifice by giving their children the honor and opportunity of following in their footsteps.”
Seven of the children are set to join the next FDNY class in a few days. The others will join future classes in accordance to their FDNY ranking on the hiring list.
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