Ariz. bill calls for first responder PTSD workers’ comp
HB 2501 would require employers to pay workers’ compensation in proven cases of PTSD and allow responders to receive specialized therapy
By EMS1 Staff
PHOENIX —A bill being considered in Arizona would give first responders with PTSD access to specialized therapy, as well as workers’ compensation.
KTAR reported that HB 2501 would require employers to pay workers’ compensation to responders with proven PTSD, as well as give them access to specialized therapy, such as trauma counselors who work with military veterans.
“Sometimes, as responders, we’re our own worst enemies,” 25-year veteran fire captain and paramedic Bryan Jeffries said. “We have this macho profession and this macho culture. Historically, we’ve had a viewpoint: ‘Suck it up, buttercup.’ The reality is, these are serious issues. If left unchecked and left untreated, they could lead to much more serious issues.”
Jeffries added that counseling currently offered at many fire departments is not enough.
“By the time they’re done telling the counselors their stories, the counselors are crying,” he said. “They need trauma counselors that have experience with military and first responders.”
The legislation passed the state House and is currently being considered by Senate.