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The North Carolina House of Representatives passed two bills Thursday that would affect workers compensation benefits for first responders.
H.B. 520 amends the state code on firefighters exposed to lead, stipulating that to qualify for lead poisoning the firefighter has to be exposed to lead for at least 30 days within a 12-month period, and adds nine cancers as occupational diseases. It would apply to both paid and volunteer firefighters with at least five years of firefighting, according to the latest draft of the bill.
H.B. 622 would provide coverage for a diagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency management services personnel whether or not their mental injury is accompanied by a physical one. The bill also calls for the “employing agency” of first responders to provide training, awareness and treatment to both those on staff and who are volunteers, according to the bill.
H.B. 520 would go into effect upon being signed into law and H.B. 622 would become effective July 1. Both have been sent to the state Senate for consideration.
Idaho Gov. Brad Little on Tuesday signed into law a bill that would provide workers compensation to first responders suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a spokesman in the governor’s office.