Bill to help first responders with PTSD in Washington state legi - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Bill to help first responders with PTSD in Washington state legislature

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

A bill making its way through the state capital that aims to help our first responders with PTSD.

It’s House Bill 1655, which would allow first responders to file an occupational disease claim for PTSD.

Michael White, a legislative liaison with the Washington State Council of Firefighters, says the repeated and cumulative exposures is what’s causing the PTSD.

“When somebody calls 911 it’s because it’s the worst day of their life a lot of the time. It can be very trying, and we’re here for a 24-hour period and we don’t get to just stop,” he says.

Captain Jeff Wainwright with Spokane County Fire District 8 has been a firefighter for nearly 30 years, and he says they see a lot when they go on calls.

“We deal with fatality car accidents. We see bodies mangled…We deal with very injured people,” he says. “All of those things invariably start to weigh down on our folks.”

And some of those calls they go on do stay with them for a long time. That’s why Captain Wainwright says this bill is important and necessary.

“It's something we need to deal with and take care of our people who are dealing with PTSD,” he says.

The bill is currently in the state Senate. For more information: http://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?Year=2017&BillNumber=1655

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