May. 16, 2023 By Bill Parry
FDNY firefighters, first responders, and union leaders joined Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato in Albany recently to thank her after her legislation, A.5055 was included in the New York state budget. The measure will allow firefighters who started their careers serving as EMTs to obtain service credit for their previous work if they became firefighters.
Prior, members of the New York City Fire Department Pension Fund who had creditable service as an EMT with the FDNY were not able to receive Fire Department Pension service credit for such service. Their past service did not apply to the minimum number of years needed for a vested, early, or regular service retirement. That all changed when her legislation was included in the final state budget.
“This is a victory for our firefighters who wake up every day, run towards the emergency, and put their lives on the line to protect us,” Pheffer Amato said. “These are our bravest and it is beyond time that they receive credit for their amazing work. Having negotiated and advocated for this policy change in the final budget was the right thing to do for our heroes.”
The assemblywoman has championed legislation during her tenure in the state Legislature from getting first responders unlimited sick leave for 9/11-related illness to working to provide a cost of living increase for all line-of-duty widows or widowers. During negotiations for the budget, Pheffer Amato committed to a group of 300 firefighters that this legislation would be in the budget. Her legislation is estimated to positively impact over 1400 members of the FDNY.
“The Assemblywoman has always been someone firefighters and first responders could count on,” Uniformed Firefighters Association President Andrew Ansbro said. “Her commitment is unparalleled and through this dynamic partnership, we were able to bring this legislation across the finish line. Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato worked around the clock to get this victory for our members and their families.”