For some time now, May has been a month dedicated to remembering the sacrifices that have been made by the military and first responders. Celebrated in the month of May is National Law Enforcement Week, National Correction Officer Week, National EMS Week and of course, Memorial Day. I, for one, would like to extend my gratitude to all the members of these diverse organizations who have dedicated their lives in order to make this society a better one.
The State of Connecticut has taken a bold step in recognizing not only the physical scars which may follow a traumatic event but the emotional scars. The State recently came to a bi-partisan agreement that some first responders deserve some time in order to deal with their emotional trauma following a harrowing event while working. If passed, the law would expand workers’ compensation coverage in certain situations that result in mental or emotional impairment. A bold and necessary step in order to make sure that we take care of those who take care of us.
Having been in the trenches and carried dead babies, had people die right in front of me and witnessed the people with severed limbs, I can tell you that there is an emotional toll paid by first responders. Firefighters, police officers and all first responders deserve to receive all the emotional support they can get. As good as the news seems to be toward getting first responders the help they deserve, there is a group which seems to be left out.
The Bill, as it stands now, would be applied to police officers, firefighters, and parole officers. Unfortunately, it seems that Emergency Medical Responders (EMR) have been left out of the Bill. This has caused some to start a petition in order to get these first responders placed on the bill with the other more notable members. And it seems that EMRs are often an afterthought. When one thinks about the first responders who were lost on 9-11, we often think of firefighters and police officers. According to some sources, 8 EMT’s from private companies were lost at the tower attacks. There is no denying that these brave members of various agencies see and assist as many traumatic events during their shifts. Therefore, I would recommend that they also receive the benefits of the Senate Bill.
Brave men and women don different uniforms in order to make this world and their community a better and safer place. I suggest that society reciprocate and make sure that those who take care of us are taken care of.