Senate Approves Workers’ Comp Bill for First Responders

Critical members of volunteer fire companies, ambulance corps and rescue squads who are injured in the line of duty would qualify for workers’ compensation coverage under a bill approved Monday (February 3) by the Senate, according to Senator Dan Laughlin, who supported the bill.

Senate Bill 94 would ensure coverage for all active volunteers and integral members of a volunteer fire, ambulance or rescue company insured through the State Workers Insurance Fund (SWIF).

A Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee hearing in 2017 included a discussion of problems related to SWIF denying coverage to these critical volunteers. The legislation would apply to 1,550 volunteer fire companies and 92 ambulance organizations that are insured by SWIF.

The bill would only apply to active volunteers. Social members would not be included. The legislation is part of a broader focus by lawmakers on the challenges facing fire and EMS companies throughout the state. Last week, the Senate approved two bills to expand grant and loan programs for fire and EMS companies and support volunteer recruitment and retention programs.

Senate Bill 94 now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.


Contact:           Matt Azeles          (717) 787-8927

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