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Politics & Government

Effort To Reform Workers' Compensation For Idaho's First Responders Moves Forward

Ruth Brown
Idaho Statesman
Rep. Mat Erpelding (D-Boise) unveiled draft legislation to reform Idaho's workers' compensation law.

Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan and Idaho State Rep. Mat Erpelding (D-Boise) are concerned about the post-traumatic stress that first responders deal with.


Here’s Doan talking this summer about the issue on Idaho Matters:

“Firefighters and police officers are five times more likely to suffer symptoms of PTSD than the general public," says Doan. "So it’s just that repeated effect of seeing these things over and over.”

Right now, first responders who sustain psychological and mental injuries – but not physical injuries – are not covered under Idaho’s workers’ compensation law. Thursday, Doan and Erpelding unveiled their draft legislation to change that. Democratic lawmaker Erpelding says there’s an appetite at the state legislature for this change:

“This is an issue that extends across party lines," Erpelding says. "So I’ve had conversations with many of my Republican colleagues who also support carving out a niche for our first responders who, on a regular basis, experience traumatic events.”

Workers’ compensation policies protect employees injured on the job by providing medical care and lost wages. 

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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