ALBANY (WENY) – As a way to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed three pieces of legislation Friday to support 9/11 and communications first responders in accessing benefits available to them.
Hochul said the new bills will make it easier for World Trade Center first responders to apply for WTC benefits.
“As we mark the 20th anniversary of a day that touched the lives of every single New Yorker, we remember those we lost and honor those who are with us today who participated in the World Trade Center rescue, recovery, and cleanup,” she said. “These laws will help not only first responders who were at the World Trade Center on that terrible day and those who cleaned the site for weeks afterward, but also the emergency dispatchers and communications personnel who keep us safe today. We will ensure they receive the support and benefits they deserve.”
One of the legislations will expand the criteria that define first responders who participated in the World Trade Center rescue, now including any person who is currently a member of a public retirement system. The second legislation will allow for electronic submission of a notice that a member of a retirement system participated in the rescue.
The third of the bills defines a “first responder in communications” as an individual who is a public safety dispatcher, emergency responder, emergency operator, emergency complaint operator and emergency services dispatcher who meets minimum requirements by local government.