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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Youngstown firefighter who died last year was honored this morning in a ceremony to commemorate fallen firefighters.

Thomas J. Burley, a volunteer with the Youngstown Vol. Fire Co., died on June 18, 2013 in a motorcycle crash in Cambria. The 20-year-old had been with the department for five years. He was also a security police officer with the New York National Guard’s 107th Air Wing in Niagara Falls.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo led the commemoration of the 17th Annual Fallen Firefighters Memorial Ceremony by issuing two proclamations honoring the State’s career and volunteer firefighters.

The proclamations mark Oct. 7 as the annual Firefighter Appreciation Day, and Oct. 5-11 as New York’s annual Fire Prevention Week. During today’s Fallen Firefighters Memorial Ceremony in Albany, nine brave individuals were added to the Memorial.

“Today we honor New York firefighters who time and time again put their lives on the line to help their neighbors and keep their communities safe,” Gov. Cuomo said. “We also honor the memory of nine selfless individuals from across this state who paid the ultimate price in the line of duty. Their names will never be forgotten and will forever be in our thoughts and prayers.”

Lieutenant Gov. Robert J. Duffy said, “These extraordinarily brave individuals made the ultimate sacrifice protecting our state, and this dedication both remembers these fallen heroes and extends our appreciation to those that selflessly serve each day. Today we honor these firefighters who kept New Yorkers out of harm’s way as well as their families who were there for them every step of the way. Their bravery will never be forgotten, and New York State is eternally grateful for their fearless commitment to safety and service.”

Including the nine fallen firefighters whose names were added to the Fallen Firefighter Memorial today, there are now the names of 2,390 firefighters who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. In addition to Burley, those honored included:

  • John M. Janos, Firefighter, Binghamton Fire Department, Broome County, April 6, 2013 
  • Matthew J. Porcari, Captain, Owego Fire Department, Tioga County, January 22, 2013 
  • Timothy J. Lamere, Assistant Chief, Constable Fire Department, Franklin County, August 21, 2012 
  • Antonio C. Rodriques, Firefighter, Yonkers Fire Department, Westchester County, July 31, 2012 
  • Joseph P. DiBernardo, Lieutenant, New York City Fire Department, Bronx County, November 22, 2011 
  • Michael D. Sowich, Firefighter, New Hartford Fire Department, Oneida County, March 2, 2007 
  • Bernard E. Bauman, Firefighter, Laurelton Fire Department, Monroe County, August 27, 1952
  • Arthur E. Sink, Firefighter, Laurelton Fire Department, Monroe County, August 27, 1952

The Fallen Firefighter Memorial, dedicated in 1998, honors the memory and the valor of our fallen firefighters commemorated at the Memorial during Fire Prevention Week each year, as well as pays tribute to the over 100,000 New York State firefighters who put their lives on the line every day. Fire Departments statewide respond to approximately 1.8 million incidents each year, which represents approximately 5,100 incidents daily, 215 incidents per hour, and four incidents a minute.

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