June 2020 News Roundup
This month, first responders not only responded to emergency calls in the midst of a global pandemic, they also answered these calls in the midst of national civil unrest. Firefighters & EMS personnel worked nonstop as cities dealt with protests and riots in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd. Firefighters dealt with an increase in arson and damage calls, being blocked by protestors, and were even assaulted while trying to help in the midst of the upheaval. Through it all, our heroes continued to protect our communities.
Pandemics and civil unrest weren’t the only dangers that were brought to the forefront this month, either. A new study by Notre Dame University found that waterproofing chemicals in the protective gear worn by firefighters may be exposing them to “significant quantities” of PFAS, a toxic chemical found in firefighting foam.
In some positive news, Boston set a precedent by passing a law that provides survivor benefits to families of fallen firefighters, new bills are being passed to encourage young people to become first responders, and fundraisers and awareness campaigns are working to bring awareness to mental health for firefighters.
Check out Firefighters Support Alliance’s new interactive map on Firefighter & Economic Statistics: https://firefighterssupportalliance.com/fire-statistics-dashboard/. Write your elected representative and call for more funding and better resources for firefighters fighting Coronavirus and wildfires across the country.
Top News Stories:
- Slate of bills aim to attract young people as first responders
- Firefighters Face New Possible Risk From Toxic PFAS: Their Gear
- IAFC president calls on Congress to be ‘heroes’ in support of fire, EMS during pandemic
- Ex-firefighter being treated for PTSD completes 80-mile fundraising run to help other first responders facing same struggle
- Forestry officials predict severe and complex wildfire season amid drought and COVID-19; still searching for money to pay for it
- Baker signs into law survivor benefits for Boston firefighters