Lawmakers Looking to Help Newtown First Responders - NBC Connecticut

Lawmakers Looking to Help Newtown First Responders



    Lawmakers Looking to Help Newtown First Responders

    When police officers, firefighters and EMT's responded on that awful day in Newtown, there was no way of knowing the lasting impact that would come from what they encountered.

    A number of first responders have used up their sick time suffering from the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD.

    "Nothing has ever come close to this situation and they're hanging in there," Eric Brown, an attorney for the police union, said.

    Two Newtown officer are currently off the job and home on sick leave, according to Brown.

    Emotional stress is not currently covered under existing workers' compensation laws.

    "We anticipate they're going to come in and out of work as they deal with various situations as they arise," Brown said.

    Rep. Stephen Dargan, who represents the 115th District, wants to expand the workers' compensation law.

    "We, as elected officials should not run away from our first responders," Rep. Dargan said.

    At least one member of the State Senate is also showing support.

    "Workers' compensation is not only about physical injuries, it’s about the psychological and emotional trauma that occurs around events such as Newtown and in the daily street shootings we hear about in Connecticut," Sen. Cathy Osten said.

    Just this week the Newtown Board of Police Commissioners urged the state legislature act on a bill regarding workers' compensation for first responders.