Florida Bill Would Help First Responders With PTSD

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A bill to extend first responders’ workers compensation benefits to include treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder is moving through the Florida Senate.

The Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee unanimously approved the bill Tuesday after an hour of emotional testimony.

Megan Vila of Tampa told the committee her brother was being treated for PTSD for two months when he was told the treatment wasn’t covered. The firefighter was forced to repay the salary he had been receiving. He later took his own life.

Leslie Dangerfield had a similar story. She said her husband was a firefighter who suffered from PTSD after repeatedly responding to deaths during his nearly three-decade career. He also took his own life.

And Jessica Realin talked about how her husband Gerry had to leave his job as a police officer because of PTSD following the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando.