July 2020 News Roundup
July was another busy month for firefighters and first responders. On top of battling increased calls due to Covid-19, more firefighters tested positive, wildfire season is ramping up, and first responders experienced attacks from citizens. One firefighter was injured from a firework intentionally aimed at first responders and another suffered from a stabbing at his station. Fire departments are being hit with major layoffs, budget cuts as a direct reflection of Covid-19, and are having to regain the trust of their communities.
On the other hand, Cleveland EMS providers faced a victory and will now be covered for PTSD and receive about $3.7 million in back pay after their lengthy battle. Michigan Governor signed house bill that regulates the use and reporting of aqueous film forming foam made from the very dangerous PFAS chemicals, this is huge for safety of firefighter and the people of the community as well. In addition, The U.S House of Representatives adopted legislation to ensure that families of first responders who die from COVID-19 or suffer disabilities receive Public Safety Officers Benefit program payments. Illinois Senators want to give back to volunteer firefighters with a tax credit to help with costs associated with being a volunteer, we wrote about it this month.
Despite the struggles we’re happy to report a lot of positive change. First responders and our local fire departments need our support now more than ever. Continue to speak out about funding and better resources for these heroes.
Top News Stories:
- Wildland firefighters’ invisible injuries can be life-threatening
- IAFC president urges HEROES Act action
- Whitmer signs bills regulating PFAS foam use at Michigan fire stations
- Firefighters & EMS Hit with Record-Breaking Layoffs Due to COVID-19
- Dire firefighter shortages in this SC county put lives in peril. ‘We do the best we can.’
- After failure of a spring ballot initiative and an increase in call volumes, CRFR prepares for service reduction
- We Need Help’: First Responders Ask For Mental Health Aid As Part Of Pandemic Response