Legislation that would give full-time first responders compensation for post traumatic stress disorder diagnosis is gaining momentum in the Senate and Assembly, but coauthor state Sen. Patty Schachtner said she hopes it won’t stop there.
Senate Bill 511 and companion Assembly Bill 569, both backed with bipartisan support, are good places to start, according to the Somerset Democrat; however, they leave a large demographic out of the mix.
“Right now, practically, it covers full-time law enforcement and firefighters, not volunteer emergency medical services and firefighters," she said. "Around here, most of our EMS agencies and fire agencies are part-time paid volunteers. So just because a person is a part-time paid volunteer does not mean that the trauma they experience is any less real."