A bill proposed in Connecticut hopes to help firefighters and police officers cope with post-traumatic stress disorder. Some citizens are wondering why emergency services personnel were left out of the legislation.
The exclusion of EMS workers from the bill motivated Derrick Caranci to start a petition asking congresspeople to amend the legislation by allowing EMS personnel to also receive help in dealing with the stresses of their job.
As of Wednesday evening, the bill had 4,000 signatures. Once it reaches 5,000 signatures, the bill will be sent to the Connecticut State House and the governor, as well as the State Senate.
Some of the signees have written comments explaining their support of the petition. Matthew Behuniak, a firefighter, believes EMS personnel deserve compensation just as much as fire crews do.
“I am a member of Ridgefield Professional Firefighters Local 1739,” said Behuniak. “My job as a firefighter and paramedic is no different than that of a privately employed or volunteer EMT or Paramedic. They deserve to be included in this bill!!”
The bill itself has wide support from both sides of the aisle. The legislation proposes a year of workers’ compensation coverage to all firefighters and police suffering from PTSD. Volunteer firefighters and parole officers would also be eligible to receive support.