Thiele Legislation Extending the Volunteer Firefighter Recruitment and Retention Task Force Signed into Law

Today, Assemblyman Fred Thiele (D-Sag Harbor) announced that Governor Kathy Hochul has signed legislation that would enable the New York State Volunteer Firefighter Recruitment and Retention Task Force to continue its work until December 31, 2022. This Task Force, which was established in 2020 within the Office of Fire Prevention and Control to make recommendations aimed at improving volunteer firefighter recruitment and retention in New York State, was required to submit a report to the Governor and the Legislature by November 2021.

Under legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Thiele and Senator Gaughran, the Task Force will have more time to complete its work and make recommendations to improve recruitment and retention efforts.

“Volunteer firefighters provide professional services that are critical to the safety of our communities. Further, this spirit of volunteerism is a substantial savings to taxpayers.” said Assemblymember Fred Thiele. “The Task Force, which includes members of the fire service, can play a critical role in insuring the sustainability of the volunteer fire services well into the future.

I thank both my partner on the bill, Senator Gaughran, and Governor Hochul for signing this measure into law. I would also like to thank all volunteer first responders across our state for what they do on the front lines of local and state emergencies. I am confident the work of this Task Force will significantly enhance their recruitment and retention programs.”