UTICA, N.Y. – Members of the Oneida County Fire Chief’s Association, including the president, attended the Oneida County Board of Legislators meeting Wednesday to push for first responders’ privacy rights.
As part of new bail reform, defendants have access to the names and addresses of first responders, which the chiefs say may pose a safety risk. Other members of law enforcement do not have to provide personal information for safety reasons, like retaliatory action. The association is asking the board to pass a resolution to support the same protections for first responders.
"Currently today, law enforcement is protected from providing their personal data to a defendant or defense attorney. Our ask is, what's been written into that potential amendment is that firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, both career and volunteer, have the same leeway that law enforcement officers have,” said Chief Brian Healey.
If the county passes the resolution, it will go to the state legislature for a vote. The board will vote on the proposal at a later date.