Senators Richard Blumenthal and Joseph Lieberman, Connecticut's two representatives in the United States Senate, announced today that they have introduced a bill to extend public safety officer death benefits to Fire Police officers.
The bill, known as the Fire Police Fairness Act, would amend the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to extend the same public death benefits that most public safety officers receive to fire police officers as well. There is currently no national designation for fire police, causing many to experience obstacles and difficulties when they try to apply for those benefits.
“This commonsense measure will ensure that fire police receive the benefits they have earned as they risk their lives to protect our communities,” Blumenthal said in a release. “Extending benefits to fire police will both eliminate burdensome red tape and institute basic fairness among all first responders.”
Lieberman said that fire police "play an important role in responding to fires" and deserve the same benefits as any other first responders should they be seriously injured or killed during the course of their duties.
U.S. Rep Joe Courtney, a Democrat who represents Connecticut's Second Congressional District, has already introduced the companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
“In towns across eastern Connecticut, fire police are first on the scene right along with police, fire fighters and EMTs,” Courtney said in a statement. “If, God forbid, they are injured or killed in service to their community, it is only right that they receive the same benefits as other public safety officers. I am pleased that Sens. Lieberman and Blumenthal have joined me in this effort to cut through bureaucratic red tape, and ensure that fire police get the benefits they earn and deserve.”