Firefighters

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Legislation to expand workers’ compensation benefits to include post-traumatic stress disorder for firefighters, paramedics, EMTs and other first responders unanimously passed its first Senate committee in Tallahassee last week.

PTSD is currently only fully covered by workers’ comp if a mental injury is accompanied by a physical injury that requires medical treatment. Advocates say the suicide rate among first responders is higher than the rate among the general population, and that expanding workers’ comp coverage for mental health issues like PTSD would bring that number down.

40 more wildland firefighters from Florida are now heading to the western part of the U.S. to help deal with one of the worst wildlife seasons in American history. That’s on top of the 41 sent last month.

Despite a very active wildfire season, Florida Forest Service Firefighters will now be helping other states battle their own blazes.

Photo: Pixabay via Public Domain

Firefighters put their lives on the line to every day, but the dangers they face are not the same dangers faced by firefighters in years past. The smoke that comes from modern fires include particulates from very different materials; plastics, petroleum-based products, and chemical-treated woods. 

Trial by fire

Feb 5, 2017
Allison McCartney / Reveal

In 1988, six firefighters in Kansas City, Missouri, were killed in a blast at a highway construction site. Nine years later, five people were convicted of setting the fires that led to the deaths. 

And now, almost 30 years later, Reveal investigates problems in the case: There was no physical evidence linking the five to the crime, and their convictions were based on witness testimony – a lot of it conflicting.

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