Assemblyman Anthony D’Urso recently honored Eugene “Gene” Anthony Tesoriero, who has been a volunteer with the Vigilant Fire Company for 70 years at an event held at the fire house.
On numerous occasions, Tesoriero has risked his own life to save the lives of others while fighting fires. He has proudly represented the Vigilant Fire Company in numerous parades and trained new firefighters.
Tesoriero was also an anchor in the fire department in the difficult days after 9/11, providing words of encouragement to the younger fire firefighters who were struggling with grief and trauma. Tesoriero’s magnetic personality and quick wit have made him one of the fixtures in the fire department and beloved by his fellow Vigilants.
Besides presenting Tesoriero with a New York State Assembly citation, Tony also spoke about a bill which he co-sponsored, New York State Volunteer Firefighter Enhanced Cancer Disability Benefits Act, which was recently signed into law.
This will provide volunteer firefighters who develop certain forms of cancer with enhanced disability benefits. Their disability payments will depend on the severity of illness and in the case of death, the family will be eligible for an accidental death benefit.
“These firefighters are our heroes. They run into danger when everyone else runs out and they are just a phone call away for anyone who needs them,” Assemblyman Anthony D’Urso said. “I am proud to have co-sponsored this legislation to help them in case they get sick or injured,”