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Local officials call for series of fire safety bills to become laws in NY

Stony Point Fire Chief Kurt Mulligan said, “we don't want to go to fires where's there death and destruction."

Diane Caruso

Mar 15, 2024, 9:57 PM

Updated 67 days ago


Volunteer firefighters and officials from Rockland County were joined by a bipartisan group of state lawmakers from the area at the fire training center in Pomona Friday to demand a series of bills aimed to improve fire safety become law in the Empire State.
Stony Point Fire Chief Kurt Mulligan said, “we don't want to go to fires where's there death and destruction."
James Hartwick, a Nyack fire commissioner, said, "they've got to let the Legislature know how important these bills are and let’s get them passed."
"The first shots been fired. Loud and Clear. Right here in Rockland County," said Rockland County Executive Ed Day.
They believe nine pieces of proposed legislation will do that - including charging a property owner with a felony if someone is seriously hurt because of a fire code violation and applying a civil penalty to the property itself.
Here is more information about each bill:
A4430 / S2986 State assistance to local governments for the enforcement of fire prevention and building codes using monies paid into the code enforcement account.
A2776 / S3458 Establishes the crimes of reckless endangerment of an emergency service person in the first and second degrees (Felony).
A3097 / S.4713 Authorizes municipalities in the county of Rockland to add unpaid housing code violation penalties, costs and fines to such municipalities' annual tax levy.
A5991/ S5436 Increases benefits for volunteer firefighters and volunteer ambulance workers.
A6290 / S4560 Enhanced 911 - Communication enhancements by increasing state grant and reimbursements to $100 million for development, consolidation, or operation of public safety communications systems.
A5618 / S3354 Bill that if Secretary of State is notified that a municipality is not providing administration & enforcement of the Uniform Fire Prevention & Building Code that complies with minimum standards the SOS may investigate & conduct hearings into alleged failure of local code enforcement. Essentially codifies what SOS did in Spring Valley.
A8616 / S8598 Minimum staffing levels for agencies enforcing the minimum standards under the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code Act.
A9256 Civil Penalties resulting from a violation related to the condition or use of real property may be applied against another property in rem.
Aggravated Offenses Property owner can be charged with a Class D Felony if a person suffers serious physical injury as a result of a violation of a provision of the uniform fire prevention and building code.
In March 2021, two people, including volunteer firefighter Jared Lloyd, died from a fire at an assisted living facility in Spring Valley.
In March 2023, five people died from a fire in an overcrowded home in Spring Valley.
"One thing is very very clear, more needs to be done to save lives, which is what brings us here today," said County Executive Day.
A spokesman for the governor said she will review the legislation if it passes both houses of the legislation.
So far this year, statistics show New York state is second when it comes to fire fatalities.

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