First responders in Nebraska would be offered annual “resiliency training” to help combat and cope with post-traumatic stress disorder under a bill given initial approval by state lawmakers on Wednesday.
State Sen. Mike McDonnell, a former Omaha fire chief, said that 1 in 4 firefighters on average will visit an emergency room during their career for physical injuries on the job.
But, he said, “We don’t think about the mental injury. A lot of times we don’t see it. It’s hidden.”
McDonnell made Legislative Bill 963 his priority bill.
It was introduced by State Sen. Tom Brewer of Gordon, a decorated military veteran, who said that he received treatment for PTSD, but that was 11 years after he was shot and wounded in battle. Brewer said that PTSD has contributed to an epidemic of suicides among veterans that now numbers 22 a day.