Association will help all-volunteer fire company in Town of Tonawanda provide for indigent, injured & disabled members
On Thursday, New York State Sen. Sean Ryan and Assemblyman Bill Conrad announced their legislation (S.7116/A.7377), creating the Kenilworth Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 Benevolent Association, has passed both the Senate and Assembly. The legislation now heads to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desk for his signature.
Kenilworth Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1, established in 1919, is stationed on Hawthorne Avenue in the Town of Tonawanda.
A press release explained, “The purpose of an incorporated benevolent association is to provide relief and aid to a fire department’s volunteer members and their families – particularly those who are indigent and those who are injured or disabled in the performance of their firefighting duties.
“The benevolent association also helps a department maintain its headquarters, promote the fire service, provide for the health and safety of members, and enhance volunteers’ morale through recreational and social activities.
The establishment of this association will not only help Kenilworth Fire – an all-volunteer company – take good care of its firefighters, it will also support its recruitment and retention efforts. Membership will be open to all active and former members of the Kenilworth Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1.”
Ryan said, “My father was a firefighter when I was growing up, so I know firsthand the enormity of the sacrifices that these brave men and women make every day to keep their neighbors safe. For that reason, I am especially honored to join Assemblyman Conrad in passing this bill to establish the Kenilworth Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 Benevolent Association. The members of Kenilworth Fire admirably commit their free time to serving their community, and looking out for their best interests in this way is the least we can do to show our appreciation.”
Conrad said, “I stand in awe of our community’s firefighters. These selfless men and women routinely risk their lives to ensure our safety and survival, sacrificing precious time with their own loved ones in order to do so. Kenilworth’s firefighters are all volunteers, bravely showing up for us in our moments of greatest need, no matter the hour, and no matter the danger they face. The hazards these volunteers readily endure can lead to serious injury, and the crises and tragedies they witness can take a tremendous toll on them emotionally. We must not forget that they have full-time jobs and families outside of the fire company. There needs to be a way for members to help one another in their moments of need – and that will be the primary role of this benevolent association. This bill was a small show of my and Senator Ryan’s immense gratitude for their service.”
Kenilworth Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 member Tom Yager said, “On behalf of the membership of the Kenilworth Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1, we would like to express our sincerest thanks and gratitude to both Assemblyman Conrad and Senator Ryan. With their assistance, the organization of the Kenilworth Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 Benevolent Association will be able to provide assistance to those who selflessly help those in need when they themselves need help. This would not have been possible without their hard work and dedication to this process.”