New York governor Andrew Cuomo recently wrote an op-ed for the New York Daily News highlighting the needs of New York City EMTs and other city employees who responded to the attacks on 9/11. His editorial gives much-needed attention to the continuing health issues faced by these employees, who are still without unlimited sick leave.
Cuomo emphasizes the enormous heroism of everyone involved on that fateful day: the firefighters, police officers, EMTs, and volunteers who rushed to the scene when the Twin Towers tell. They ran directly into dust and debris, and did everything they could to rescue survivors and clear away the wreckage. According to the governor, these heroes “showed the true character of New Yorkers for the world to see.”
The governor also cites some of the initiatives enacted to support first responders. These include the passage and reauthorization of the federal Zadroga Bill, which provides first responders with healthcare; New York State’s creation of a disability pension for first responders; and a recent New York law that offers unlimited sick leave to first responders who are New York public employees but don’t live in New York City.
But he goes on to note that, as promising as these efforts have been, much still needs to be done before we have truly done right by these heroes. Cuomo emphasizes that EMTs and certain other civil servants who are employed by New York City haven’t been given unlimited paid sick leave if they served at Ground Zero. What’s more, the New York City government blocked a state bill that would have given those workers such leave. The governor has called for the city to fulfill its obligation to these workers: “If the city is going to continue to block this bill, then it should immediately agree to provide the EMTs and other city employees the benefits they deserve. Otherwise, the city should drop its opposition and let the State Legislature pass the bill to extend the benefits and offer some peace of mind to those who served at Ground Zero and their families.”
Barasch & McGarry echo Cuomo’s call for greater support for the city’s EMTs and other first responders. We have fought for the rights of everyone who risked their lives on 9/11 and are committed to getting them the care and support they need.
To learn more about your rights as a first responder and how we can help you or a loved one access the benefits you deserve, call Barasch & McGarry at 888-351-9421 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.