An Ohio Senate panel is considering a bill that would allow emergency responders diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder PTSD to be eligible for workers compensation even if they do not have any physical injuries.
The bill would apply to police officer, firefighters, and EMT’s diagnosed with PTSD as a result of their work experience. Under current law PTSD does not qualify for comp unless it is related to a physical injury or sexual misconduct.
The Ohio Fraternal Order of Police, the Ohio Assoc of Professional Fire Fighters and the National Alliance on Mental Illness all support this bill stating that first responders do see stressful things stemming from the nature of their work and that the mental effects could be lasting. Just because there are no physical wounds does not mean a mental image is not placed in the mind permanently.
Supporters of the bill do not feel that there will be an overrun of claims in the system unless there are legit, they believe that there is a stigma and almost negative connotation associated with PTSD that will deter people from wanting to make false claims.
Being a volunteer firefighter myself there are definitely situations out there that can leave an impression on you. Some situations you wish you had not seen, but that is the nature of being a first responder. Some people that hits harder than others and they suffer for a period of time with what they saw. It is good to know that they will be able to get the help that they need and be covered for putting their life on the line to save others.