(ALBANY, NY) - Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY) President David Jacobowitz
announced the signature into law of FASNY’s Blue Light Legislation
The bill was the last of six pieces of important FASNY-sponsored legislation signed by the Governor this year, capping off the Association’s 2010 legislative agenda.
“This was not an easy year for reasons we are all well aware of, but the State Legislature did tend to the business of the volunteer responder as evidenced by the heart of our Associations legislative agenda being enacted into law,” said FASNY President Jacobowitz.
Motor vehicle accidents, either at the scene of an emergency, or responding to or from an alarm, have traditionally been the number two killer of volunteer firefighters in the United States, second only to heart attacks.
The Blue Light Law, which will increase safety for volunteer firefighters responding to emergencies, is designed to allow for the use of high-visibility blue lights on the rear of fire and EMS response vehicles and was introduced by NYS Senator Darrel Aubertine (D-Cape Vincent) and sponsored by Assemblyman Tim Gordon (I-Bethlehem). This legislation allows fire departments, including the state’s almost 2,000 volunteer fire departments or fire companies, to install additional blue emergency lights in the rear of all of their fire and emergency response vehicles.
"Highway safety for responders and residents is critically important. Studies have proven the blue light to be visually superior to other colors and this new law will help make our highways a safer place to be for residents and emergency responders alike,” said Senator Aubertine. “I am proud to have sponsored this legislation and thankful to all of our volunteers for all that they do for us."
The Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY) believes this crucial new law will significantly reduce the risk of accidents and injuries when firefighters are responding to an emergency and operating on the scene.
"As an Assemblyman, I am particularly pleased with the passage and enactment of legislation I have sponsored,” said Assemblyman Gordon. “As an active Volunteer Firefighter, I am even more pleased to know that I can make a contribution to the safety and welfare of New York's residents and to my fellow firefighters.”
In addition, the new law continues exclusive use of the blue light by volunteers on personal vehicles to be projected in 360 degree fashion, and amends vehicle and traffic law to add the blue light notifying drivers to reduce their speed when approaching emergency vehicles displaying red, white and blue lights.