(WFSB) - There’s controversy over a bill that restores worker’s compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder for police and firefighters.
The bill, as it stands now, does not include the state’s EMTs, and they’d like that to change.
They say they want to be included in the PTSD legislation.
When tragedies occur in any community, whether it be a mass casualty incident, a deadly fire, or a vehicle wreck, many see police and fire fighters as first responders.
Senate bill 164 expands workers compensation benefits now to cover mental or emotional impairment by responding firefighters and police.
“It was a little disheartening to see that EMS was initially in this bill and was taken out of it,” said Derrick Caranci, EMT.
Now EMS personnel statewide have mounted a petition drive to get make sure they too can be approved for workman’s comp, should they be exposed to a post-traumatic stress incident, such as the mass shooting incident in Sandy Hook Elementary School.
“What my goal is to show that EMS is right there with them, and EMS is experiencing the same things with them,” Caranci said.
In a letter reacting to Senate bill 164, the Association of Connecticut Ambulance Providers writes, “The current proposal needs additional changes but provides a number of important coverage details previously absent.”
Meanwhile, local volunteer firefighters say it’s imperative the proposed legislation include EMS personnel.
“It cannot be enacted soon enough, but it, no one is against the bill going forward, but the EMTs and the paramedics must absolutely be included,” said Steven Frischling, Cohanize Fire Co., Waterford.
For more on the petition, click here.
Fore more on the bill, click here.