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Volunteer first responders would be covered under proposed Pa. workers’ comp bill

Volunteer fire and emergency services personnel are exposed to the same dangers as members of paid companies, and they certainly deserve the same protections under the law


By EMS1 Staff

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Under a proposed bill, personnel with volunteer fire and ambulance companies who are injured on the job would be covered under the state’s workers’ compensation program.

Senators Randy Vulakovich and Scott Martin, both Republicans, introduced the bill Monday with the goal of clarifying that members of volunteer fire departments and ambulance companies, including critical support staff, would qualify for Pennsylvania workers’ compensation coverage.

“We owe a great deal of thanks to all of the men and women who dedicate their time and efforts to help keep our communities safe,” Martin said in a news release. “Volunteer fire and emergency services personnel are exposed to the same dangers as members of paid companies, and they certainly deserve the same protections under the law.”

The senators developed the legislation after a hearing with members of the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee. Volunteer first responders testified that their claims had been denied by the State Workers’ Insurance Fund.

“It is only fair and proper that we look after the well-being of those men and women who provide this valuable service to communities across Pennsylvania, Vulakovich said.”

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