118 heroes added to Firefighters Memorial

Gazette photo by James Gormley

Firefighters and their loved ones from across New York state memorialized 118 heroes on Tuesday at the state’s annul New York State Fallen Firefighter Memorial Service in Albany.

Firefighters and their families, lawmakers and the lieutenant governor commemorated New York’s bravest who lost their lives in the line of duty this year, as well as 112 firefighters who were lost due to illnesses relating to the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks and clean up efforts.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul mentioned a jaw dropping statistic in her remarks — in 2016 New York state fire departments responded to approximately 1,514,421 calls, roughly 2.8 calls per minute.

“So many people could answer the call to serve in the way they have,” said Lt. Gov. Hochul,“but the vast vast majority don’t answer that call — your sons and daughters did — that should be a tremendous point of pride.”

Photo by Thomas Giery Pudney


Governor Cuomo, in honor of the day, made two proclamations — decreeing that October 10 will be recognized as Firefighter Appreciation Day, as well as making October 8 – 14 Fire Prevention Week.

Speaking on behalf of the Senate was Senator Martin Golden, representing Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan.

“The New York State Senate remains committed to those who courageously responded to help those in the face of danger,” said Golden. “We celebrate these lives and legacies while also mourning the tremendous loss being experienced by the families and friends left behind.

“[Of] The names added this year, 112 suffered from cancer and other illnesses as a result of the exemplary courage at the world traded center. This is a somber reminder of the lasting effects still being felt from 9/11,” said Golden.

Closing out the messages from lawmakers was Assemblyman Peter Abbate, representing Speaker Carl Heastie.

“This group of 118 heroes we honor today is exceptional in size as well as service, for many of them answered the call during our state and nations darkest hour, September 11, 2001,” said Abbate. “While countless ran from the danger, they ran towards it.”