Petition started to add EMS to Conn. police, fire PTSD bill

“We need to stand together as EMS providers and ensure we are no longer put on the back burner,” Derrick Caranci, who started the petition, said

Tara O'Neill
Connecticut Post, Bridgeport, Conn.

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A bill proposed Monday intended to support police and firefighters suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder has been considered a long time coming — but many are upset that the bill leaves out emergency medical service personnel.

And that upset has been channeled into a petition, intended to garner signatures in support of adding EMS to the bill. The petition, started by Derrick Caranci, has gathered more than 4,000 signatures as of early Wednesday evening.

The petition can be found here.

Legislative leaders unveiled the bipartisan proposal on Monday. The proposal, which provides police and firefighters suffering from PTSD up to one year of workers’ compensation coverage, would be made available to police officers, professional and volunteer firefighters and parole officers.

The full, in-depth story coverage about the bill can be found here.

Of the thousands who have signed the online petition, many have left a comment, explaining their reasoning for signing.

“OUR mental Health Matters,” said Trevor Clark. “I struggle everyday to forget what I have seen in my 20 years in this field. Now with PTSD getting help is a nightmare.”

And some who are covered under this proposed bill came to the defense of those not covered.

“I am a member of Ridgefield Professional Firefighters Local 1739,” said Matthew 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!!”

Once the petition reaches the 5,000 signatures Caranci has set as the goal, it will be sent to the Connecticut State Senate, the Connecticut State House and the governor, according to the petition.

In the description of the document, Caranci said it is “infuriating” that the bill does not include EMS.

“We need to stand together as EMS providers and ensure we are no longer put on the back burner,” Caranci said. “We have to make sure we are taking care of one another. This bill would have been a fantastic way for fellow EMS brothers/sisters to get help they need.”


©2019 the Connecticut Post (Bridgeport, Conn.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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