On Friday, Assemblymember Fred W. Thiele, Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) announced the inclusion of measures to allow volunteer fire departments to bill insurers for emergency medical services. Before Thursday, New York State was the only state in the nation that forbade this billing practice which has cost volunteer companies millions of dollars per year. This action provides long-needed support for the EMS professionals and fire companies that serve Long Islanders and New Yorkers across the state.
“Cost recovery for volunteer fire departments is a long-overdue relief for our first responders on the front lines daily for our communities,” said Assemblymember Thiele. “Prior to these reforms, fire departments struggled to afford the staggering costs of emergency medical services, with only fire tax revenue to sustain the vital services they provide. I was proud to support this measure both as a cosponsor of the original legislation, which I reported through the Committee of Local Governments, and in the State Budget, where it is now enacted into law. I look forward to working with local fire departments to ensure that emergency medical services remain accessible.”