2005-09-09 / Community

Volie $ Restored In City Budget

By Howard Schwach


After a contentious week of back-room dealing, the $125,000 to fund compensation insurance for volunteer firefighters has been put back into the New York City budget. City Councilman Joseph Addabbo, who first got the allocation into the budget three years ago and who expected that it would be a “baseline” item funded each year no matter what, said that he is glad that the mayor reconsidered the allocation and put it back into the budget.

“The mayor’s office intentionally took the money out of the budget and I’m thrilled that they reconsidered and put it back in,” Addabbo said on Wednesday. “I called my contact at the office and told them that this was a lose-lose situation for the mayor. He obviously agreed.”

The money was reportedly pulled from the budget two weeks ago at the insistence of Peter Gorman, the President of the Fire Officers Union, who has come out against his members volunteering for departments in the city or in Nassau County.

According to a source in city government, Gorman was angered that one of his members was “double-dipping,” getting compensation for an injury both from the city and from his insurance as a volunteer.

Edward O’Hare, the President of the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department said that the insurance helps to recruit and keep volunteers.

“The men and women who protect their communities have to be protected if they are injured doing their duty,” O’Hare said. “I’m glad that the city did the right thing and restored the money.”

There are four volunteer fire departments in the local area out of ten in the entire city. Those volies are from Broad Channel, Breezy Point, Rockaway Point and Roxbury.

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