First responders may get staff compensation for COVID-19 publicity

At least one Florida lawmaker wants to offer first aiders compensation for exposure to COVID-19 while on the job.

DeLand Republican Representative Elizabeth Fetterhoff Billed (HB 53) on Friday that would provide compensation to skilled first responders if they are exposed to an infectious disease such as COVID-19 during a public health emergency. The proposal assumes that first responders contracted the disease while on duty if they were not exposed outside of work.

“This legislation is extremely important for our first aiders, who are exposed to COVID-19 every day while performing their tasks,” said Fetterhoff in a statement. “We need to ensure that our law enforcement officers, firefighters and paramedics and their families have adequate compensation coverage should they become infected while serving our communities.”

The proposal is based on current Florida law, which provides similar coverage for other infectious diseases such as hepatitis, meningitis and tuberculosis. In the event of COVID-19, the invoice provides for a 14-day exposure-free window.

Florida Professional Firefighters President and CEO Wayne “Bernie” Bernoska supports the measure.

“On behalf of the 27,000+ firefighters and paramedics that make up Florida Professional Firefighters, I would like to personally thank Representative Fetterhoff for putting legislation in place to protect our members if they are unexpectedly violated while performing their duties at the frontline “Lines of this pandemic,” said Bernoska.

“Every day first responders readily face uncertain dangers in our great state, so it is comforting to know that Tallahassee still has leaders like Rep. Fetterhoff who care for the health and safety of these brave men and women. Thank you for having our back. “

At least 29 police officers have died from COVID-19 in Florida. Axios Monday noted. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and Florida Highway Patrol announced two deaths in their ranks on Saturday, FHP Trooper Sean Hryc and compliance investigators Ernst “Ernie” Brown.

The committee meetings for the 2022 legislative session will begin at the end of next month. The 60-day legislative session begins on January 11th.

The invoice is Fetterhoff’s first for the upcoming session. In the last session, the two-stage representative sponsored a bill, now law, Extending cancer coverage to government firefighters. This measure also protects victims of sexual harassment and protects Florida from fraud.

Fetterhoff’s latest bill does not yet have a Senate sponsor.

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