Last year more firefighters took their own lives than died in the line of duty. 122 fire fighters and 18 EMTs committed suicide in 2019 nationwide. Sadly, far too many fire fighters in Virginia suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and lack avenues to address behavioral health issues.
HB438 will define PTSD as an occupational disease for Virginia’s fire fighters, paramedics and law enforcement officers and help them get the treatment they deserve.
Sadly, but not surprising, entities like VACO and VML are fighting to prevent PTSD from being recognized as an occupational disease. Money is more important than First Responder lives to them.
Currently HB438 is on the brink of being killed in the House Appropriations Committee under the leadership of Del Torian, who is trying to put the bill into another study even though there was one done in JLARC with the cancer bill.
Here are the members of the Appropriations Committee:
Please contact them and demand they stop toying with First Responder lives and pass HB438.