More than a handful of firefighters shared personal, powerful stories about the challenges they've faced while diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
Their families and mental health experts joined them in asking Nebraska state senators to champion first responders and a new bill, which they say will help them better serve communities by providing guarantees and options for mental health treatment.
Nebraska state Sen. Tom Brewer, who introduced LB 963, wrote the following language in the bill he introduced to the Business and Labor Committee at Monday's public hearing:
"First responders face unique and uniquely dangerous risks in their sworn mission to keep the public safe. It is imperative for society to recognize occupational injuries related to post-traumatic stress."