No Memorial Wall for Malverne Firefighter: Gov. Cuomo Vetoes 'Brady Bill'

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo kills bill that would have placed fallen firefighter Paul Brady's name on a state memorial. Malverne Volunteer Fire Department "surprised" and "outraged."

Friends, family and 'brothers' of fallen Malverne firefighter Paul Brady had hoped to celebrate the new year by learning that after years of waiting, rallies and campaigning, Paul's name would finally be placed on a state memorial to honor his legacy.

Brady, 42, died during a while performing his duties as a volunteer firefighter in Malverne on June 30, 2006. He had been working atop a heavy rescue fire truck that day, performing maintenance activities as part of training, when another firefighter, unaware of Brady's presence atop the vehicle, began to drive the truck, causing him to hit a ceiling beam and fall off. Brady suffered serious internal injuries, which led to his death later that day.

The United States Department of Justice and the New York State Workers' Compensation Board determined that Brady died in the line of duty and the latter awarded death benefits to his widow. Brady was honored by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and Nassau County, but the New York State Fallen Firefighter Memorial Committee refused to add Brady's name to their monument in Albany, denying multiple requests.

However, things were looking up for Brady's supporters in 2011. Both the New York State egislation to place his name on the wall and on Dec. 21 the bill was sent to NYS Gov. Andrew Cuomo. If the governor signed his name, Brady's would soon appear on the memorial, but instead, just two days into 2012, the bill was killed.

Gov. Cuomo vetoed the legislation on Jan. 2, and wrote in a memo, "I am sympathetic to the families and colleagues of every firefighter who has died in circumstances that do not make that firefighter eligible for inclusion on the State Memorial Wall, and this was a very difficult decision, but there should not be one set of eligibility criteria for volunteer firefighters and another for paid firefighters."

The news of the governor's veto came as a shock to Brady's family and his fellow firefighters, David Gildea, a spokesman for the Malverne Volunteer Fire Department, told Patch.

"We were very surprised and very disappointed," Gildea said. "We had no reason to believe it wouldn’t be signed considering how it passed [the Legislature] with such great support."

Gildea said he read the governor's brief veto memo, which can be viewed above, but felt it lacked an explanation for why he chose not to support the bill.

"Honestly, I don’t know if there could be [an explanation] that would be acceptable to us," he added. "We know the circumstances and the process and we know what's right...Paul deserves that honor and there appears to be no reason for it to be denied. "

Right now, the "outraged" department is exploring its options, Gildea says, adding, "We are not done fighting. We hope this is rectified."

What do you think of the governor's decision?

Andrew January 04, 2012 at 05:32 AM
@Ed Cook. Ed - I find it funny that you seem to omit that you are a member of the selection committee, or that you are a retired "professional" Lieutenant from Syracuse. I know Paul was a not a paid professional, but he was a professional nonetheless. He may not have died in a ball of flames or pulling a complete stranger out of a burning building, however he was performing necessary maintenance on the rig to keep it up to speed for the next run. If Paul does not qualify then why did a "paid professional" that stuck a fork in a toaster and get electrocuted end up on the wall? The fact is you think volunteers are not on the same level as you paid guys which is a complete misconception. Long Island has some of the most professionally trained firefighters in the country, just because we do not get a paycheck does not mean you can do it better than us.
MalverneMel January 04, 2012 at 05:32 AM
At the begining of every tour in firehouses throughout the country, the apparatus is checked. This is done for the safety of the firefighters, and the welfare of the people Firefighters protect. Do you want a firefighter to crawl down a hallway to rescue your child only to run out of air? How about finding out the "jaws of life" doesnt work as your trapped in your car on the way to work? Paul was doing his DUTY, and guess what, his paycheck was $0. His inclusion on the NYS Fallen Firefighters Memorial doesnt come with any additional benefits- the only cost involved would be the engraving. The next time you hear the horns go off, or see a car with flashing blue lights, or see a fire truck, think of Paul, and the rest of the people that take time out of their lives to save yours for no pay. And if you really want to help, stop by your local firehouse and pick up an application for membership.
FFCanada January 04, 2012 at 12:39 PM
It is a shame that politics and criteria get involved in such a tracgic accident. However Gov. Cuomo, based upon the "criteria" for the States wall, decided what was the rule. Fight to change the criteria for all, as we can remember the legacy of this firefighter. It is very sad that a firehouse accident that claimed the life of a firefighter cannont be ruled as a LODD, but it is not recognized that way by the State, committee, or Gov. RIP FF brady.
Ed Cook January 04, 2012 at 12:44 PM
It SHOULD'T ( and doesn't) make any difference whether FF Brady was a Paid or Vol FF. the committee was evenly split between Vols And Paid. His inclusion was looked at many times and denied, every time. Yes I was a committee member ( now retired). All that means is I looked at the criteria and voted according to it, not emotion. As far as the Ff vs. toaster incident, I never heard of it. If it did happen, it happened before the committee formed and the previous head of OFPC decided who went on the Wall.
justired January 04, 2012 at 12:55 PM
@Ed Cook I was at a fire yesterday in a neighboring town, it was in a 20 X 70 private dwelling, fire located in the basement 1-2 corner, 5 lines stretched 4 in operation , trucks opened up, arriving chief made a grab, fire went out , all members went home, SO WHATS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PAID AND VOLLIE, NOT A DAMN THING
Robert J. Pape, Jr. January 04, 2012 at 01:20 PM
Firefighter Paul Brady was killed in the discharge of his duties as a member of the Malverne Fire Department. Period. Brothers and Sisters in the fire service- paid or volunteer- remember we are one family. Let us stick together on this point and make sure the proper recognition is given to FF Brady. The fire service is a family first and foremost. Stop the bickering and act as a family for one of our own. Thank you.
Billy G January 04, 2012 at 02:38 PM
If he met the Federal and National standards as a Line of Duty Death, then that should have settled it.
Ed Cook January 04, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Is there a problem with Vols. vs Paid? That seems to be why many on here think FF Brady did not go on the Wall. HIS DEATH DID NOT MEET THE CRITERIA! It's that simple. All of you that keep posted about Vols being just as good as Paid, my response is .... Who cares? It has nothing to do with inclusion on the Wall. Get over it. Built a nice memorial in front of your station so you will never forget. I think that would mean more to his family than the Wall in Albany that they would rarely see. @ BillyG- should we just let the Federal government run OUR Wall then? An after thought- I believe FF's who die from cancer are LODD. They don't go on the Wall. I've attended their funerals, I know we die from cancer at a much higher rate than non FFs. But they don't meet the criteria, it's that simple .
Robert J. Pape, Jr. January 04, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Everyone stand down. Calm down. Remember this is our family we a talking about and the public we serve is watching. Our family can resolve this issue as we do with many fire service issues. We provide a valuable service to the community whether we are paid or volunteer. Let's not embarrass ourselves here.
T E January 04, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Paul's name is already on the National Fallen Firefighter's Memorial. He met the standards for a Line of Duty Death and he should be on the NYS Memorial. It's a disgrace to put his family and his brother firefighters in Malverne through this.
Michael Crivellone January 04, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Mr. Cook. I am sure you take no pleasure in withholding Paul's name from the wall. I know the decision was an easy, yet heart wrenching one to make. I don't think anyone believes that a firefighter who dies while performing his or her dutuies should be looked at differently because of their pay status. I am not going to ask you what it will take to change your MIND, but rather, what will it take to change the CRITERIA. We are so blessed to be able to do the job we do, and we should never forget those that have given their lives for the safety of others
Ed Cook January 04, 2012 at 07:46 PM
The Committee (along with the head of OFPC and lawyers) sets the criteria. The website I posted earlier will tell you what organization appoints committee members. On the Paid side, there is 1 from Albany Fire, 1 FDNY Fire Fighters Union, 1 FDNY Officers Union and 2 from the NYSPFFA. Not sure of the 5 Vol. organizations but pretty sure FASNY is one. If I wanted to change the criteria, I would lobby OFPC, the active Committee members or the organizations that appoint them.
Ed Cook January 04, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Btw - no need to change my mind, as I'm no longer on the committee. And I agree with you, we should NEVER FORGET!
Mark Sheline January 04, 2012 at 09:43 PM
We all face the same dangers one way or another. I had hope passage of the Brady bill would allow for the change in criteria. I am mystified that a firefighter can meet the Federal and National standards and have their name placed at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial , but not to be recognized by your own state is a shame. I know of a couple of other cases where this has happened and it shouldn't be! I think I would like to know more about this committee!
BMBW January 04, 2012 at 11:08 PM
Mr. Cook's "simple" statement that .."HIS DEATH DID NOT MEET THE CRITERIA!" ..needs clarification. What Mr. Cook fails to state is that at the time of FF. Brady's death & the submission of the application by his Department , his death" DID!" meet the committee's written "criteria" provided to FF. Brady's Department by the committee. The committee's May 2007 denial was based on their own "unwritten" revisions to the "criteria" which were not put in writing until April of 2008(20 months after FF. Brady's death). What Mr. Cook also fails to state was that the 2008 written "criteria" was again revised in 2009 to allow the inclusion of firefighter who "tragically" died, (& in the writer's opinion deserved to on the Wall just as much as FF. Brady), but did not meet the committee's 2008 written "criteria" . This revision was made,in part, (again in this writer's opinion), due to the overwelming pressure put on the committee by the large department & union the firefighter belonged to. It should have never had to come to that. That firefighter was performing in the "line of duty" just as FF. Brady was & rightfully deserves to be on the Wall.
Dean January 04, 2012 at 11:16 PM
So Ed, I looked at your link; which says ... 2. “Line of Duty Death” means death attributable to any action which is required, authorized or recognized in law, rule, regulation, condition of employment, or by virtue of association in a duty to act and that is directly related to: the response to, operation at, or return from and emergency incident; conducting authorized fire prevention or fire investigation activities directly related to an emergency incident; or participating in hands – on training for the suppression of fires and explosions or the control of emergencies. So I am to think that, without FF Brady, the apparatus will repair itself and head off to each alarm without any maintenance, or otherwise, from its station ?? " that is directly related to: the response to, operation at, or return from .. " seems to me Brady was making sure that occurred. I am a firefighter and would be sure that if a career ff, on the job , doing exactly the same thing would be recognized without question. It seems here that the fine line between "on duty" while being a volunteer has clouded the judgement of many, including the Honorable Governor.
Ed Cook January 04, 2012 at 11:31 PM
Again with the Paid vs. Vol" ? Really? If you read the quote by the Gov., he said there should not be one set of rules for one group and another set for a different group. And there isn't. @ BMBW- quote facts, not just something you may have thought you heard from a friends brother..... Who are you talking about?
BMBW January 05, 2012 at 12:08 AM
FOIL the committee's Brady file & it will confirm the actions of the committee you were on.
Ed Cook January 05, 2012 at 12:41 AM
I was in the room, I KNOW what went on there. I was never pressured by some large Union to change the criteria.No need for FOiL. If there was ever any pressure, how about the pressure of the Assembly and the Senate?
Doris January 05, 2012 at 12:01 PM
Mr. Cook, I assume that you do not live on Long Island or in Malverne, but upstate. Am I correct?
Ed Cook January 05, 2012 at 01:26 PM
I live In central NY, near Syracuse
Doris January 05, 2012 at 03:04 PM
OK, I was correct, you live off the island. I understand clearly that you are happy with your vote not to put him on the wall and that you stand by it. What I don't understand is why you felt the need to find this website (malverne-westhempstead.patch.com) and defend the committee's decision through your numerous posts. You should, in my opinion, have no need to defend your vote if you are so comfortable with it. So why are you posting here? Everyone is allowed to have their opinions, just as you do. Your opinion has already been heard, now let other people voice theirs. We live here and knew FF Brady, his family and the other fine Firefighters of our beautiful village. They need to vent and be heard. Why do you care Mr. Cook?
Ed Cook January 05, 2012 at 05:15 PM
I care because I spent 24 years as a Fire Fighter. I know that what the committee did was right. I don't like to see people post things that are incorrect. All that I've posted here are facts. I believe people needs the facts to make an informed decision about what was done. Most everything else posted here is emotion. I can understand that but I believe people need to know what really happened.I believe the NYS Senate and Assembly were swayed by emotion, while the Gov. was swayed by facts. I found this website from an email I receive called the Secret List by Billy G. It pointed to this site to get more info and when I got here I found some things posted that I felt didn't portray the whole and true story. I also e-mailed Billy G. , who I very much respect, to let him know that I thought his Secret List post was wrong. I have not heard back from him yet. You can make up you own opinions but you can't make up your own facts.
PassS4655 January 05, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Ed: The last time we had the pleasure of reading the nonsense that flows from your fingers was in another LI forum, as you were once again trying to justify your and the committee's ridiculous agenda. I will NEVER FORGET your analogy on 4/9/10, during a live webcast, when you compared Paul's death to drowning in a toilet bowl. As you said, just the facts: http://www.dos.state.ny.us/ermweb/action/viewer/powerstream?id=7cb9e0ac-4be3-11df-9c37-0a42007e0000&view=asset&pluginId=source Please understand that your comments with regard to this subject are nothing more than salt in the wound of every firefighter from Malverne, as would be the case if I commented on a tragedy in Syracuse. But, we're all entitled to our opinions right? Well, here's mine, as a career FF & former Volly: Paul's death was in the line of duty, no question. Therefore, his name should be included on a memorial for dead FF's in the State Capital. For NYS to exclude him or any other FF from that honor is simply wrong; both morally & logically. The fact that NYS has a committee established to pass such judgement is foolish & not surprising. As BMBW said: Paul died before any selection criteria was in place, FACT. Therefore, he goes on the wall, PERIOD. You created this argument to satisfy your ego and he ego's of the other Union brothers on the committee. That is a FACT, evident by who cast the no votes. Gov. Cuomo, correct this injustice and slam the door on guys like Ed Cook! Put Paul on the wall!
james January 05, 2012 at 07:13 PM
ed cook (and i purposely do not put you name in capital letters because you do not deserve the respect to have it) First and foremost you are probably the most obtuse person on the face of the earth ( i am sure that your looking right now in the dictionary for the definition of the word obtuse), you speak as if you are an authority on this subject, your not. Lets see on the wall there are names of individuals who are were employed by FDNY who died the following ways, answering the door for a chief, washing a firetruck, lollygaging around with another fireman and fell out of a window at the firehouse, being murdered by another fireman, being on long term sick for 20 years, or how about recently dying at the fire academy (not meeting the criteria) and being placed on the wall after 4 paid UFA-UFOA reps on the board opened up a special meeting and changed the criteria then changed it back!!!!, com on ed wake up and smell what your breath really smells like!!! TO me it seems that the UFA-UFOA lobbyists are being paid well and preaching some crock to the Albany politicians. James B.
Robert J. Pape, Jr. January 05, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Firefighter Paul Brady of the Malverne Fire Department was tragically killed in the line of duty. Honor his ultimate sacrafice on the Wall. Thank you.
Robert J. Pape, Jr. January 05, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Brothers and Sisters in the Fire Service: Let's get this bad decision changed through the political process. Let's use our contacts in government and our voting block to get the right thing done. Stop wasting time with this guy Cook and stop criticizing past decisions involving other departments. We are better than that. If we stick together, justice will be done and Paul Brady will get the memorial he deserves.
Robert J. Pape, Jr. January 05, 2012 at 11:41 PM
When a firefighter takes the Oath of Office that is his or her act of bravery and heroism. After that, EVERYTHING ELSE IS IN THE LINE OF DUTY.
Tom Grech January 06, 2012 at 01:17 AM
Not a fireman, paid or unpaid but I have total respect for both. I did some research and was given the following info via facebook: Tom Grech This just in from a friend, attorney and fellow Malvernite who actually researched the bill: Tom Grech Hey - I took a look at the Brady bill stuff. Here's what I think the Governor's decision comes down to. The Memorial has a set of criteria: http://www.dhses.ny.gov/​ofpc/memorial/documents/​FallenFFsfinalcriteria.pdf It applies equally to paid and volunteer firefighters. The bill did not simply direct that Brady's name be added despite the committee's decision that his death did not meet the criteria, it amended the law relating to volunteer firefighters' benefits to change the criteria for volunteer firefighters only. Here's the text. http://open.nysenate.gov/​legislation/bill/S4655-2011 The Patch article quoted Cuomo as saying there should not be different standards for paid/volunteer firefighterss Malverne West Hempstead Herald: According to Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, a co-sponsor of the bill, there was a technicality with which Gov. Cuomo took issue. They're working together to fix it and reintroduce the bill. The technicality was related to the use of the word "volunteer" — it will be broadened to include ALL firefighters, paid and volunteer. Story coming out next week, so keep an eye out for it.
Tara Conry (Editor) January 06, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Just spoke to Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg about the Brady Bill. Story to come later tonight!


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