Vulakovich, Martin Bill Would Protect Members of Volunteer Emergency Services

HARRISBURG – A bill introduced by Senators Randy Vulakovich (R-38) and Scott Martin (R-13) would ensure members of volunteer fire companies and ambulance companies would be covered under the state’s Workers’ Compensation program if they are injured in the line of duty.

The bill would settle an ongoing debate and clarify that members of volunteer fire departments and ambulance corps, including critical support staff, would qualify for coverage under the program.

“We owe a great deal of thanks to all of the men and women who dedicate their time and efforts to help keep our communities safe,” Martin said. “Volunteer fire and emergency services personnel are exposed to the same dangers as members of paid companies, and they certainly deserve the same protections under the law.”

The legislation was developed following a hearing on the issue with members of the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, which Vulakovich chairs. The hearing included testimony regarding claims denied by the State Workers’ Insurance Fund for volunteer first responders who were hurt during the performance of their duties.

“Pennsylvania’s volunteer firefighters, as well as fire police, provide life-saving care at great risk to themselves, responding to the scenes of raging fires and devastating traffic accidents,” said Vulakovich. “It is only fair and proper that we look after the well-being of those men and women who provide this valuable service to communities across Pennsylvania.”

CONTACT:  Terry Trego (717) 787-6535 (Senator Martin)

Nate Silcox (717) 787-6583 (Senator Vulakovich)

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