Last year, more first responders died from suicide than in the line of duty. That is why I am extremely grateful that, on February 28th, the House passed the first responder Post Traumatic Stress Injury bill. This bill would give workers compensation to first responders for treatment for psychological trauma. Previously, this compensation was only granted to those who had also been physically injured, so someone would have to hurt their leg to receive psychological compensation for the injury. This bill works to protect the first responders that put their lives on the line to protect us.
This is something that is incredibly close to my heart as my husband is a local Sheriff Officer. Every morning, I watch as he puts on his bullet proof vest and gets ready to protect the citizens of Idaho, but I know his job comes at a price. It’s the everyday jobs that create the burden that our first responders are tasked with. From responding to urgent calls and critical incidents to having to cope with other officers taking their own lives, first responder are exposed to situations that leave a tremendous impact and currently, we are not doing enough to protect them. I would like to give a huge thank you to my colleague and the sponsor of the bill, Representative Erpelding. I strongly believe that this bill will give first responders a platform to seek help, and I can’t wait for Governor Little to sign it into action.