The Fireman's Association of the State of New York (FASNY) is pleased that Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed into law a bill that prohibits registered sex offenders from becoming volunteer firefighters.
FASNY says they worked to get the bill passed, which permits volunteer fire departments to reject applicants and/or terminate existing firefighters who are sex offenders. They say their firefighters often interact with children and those in vulnerable situations. It's important to them that their members are trusted parts of their communities. They also say that volunteer firefighters have to live in close quarters and often bring their own children to the firehouse.
The law will allow volunteer fire chiefs to access existing public record information on registered sex offenders. It's a similar process to arson background checks that have been required of all prospective firefighters since 1999.