Florida Gov Signs Bill Giving Workers’ Comp Benefits to First Responders

Florida will expand workers compensation benefits so first responders can get coverage for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday signed the bill March 27 that allows firefighters, paramedics, and law-enforcement officers to get PTSD treatment even if they do not sustain a physical injury.

The legislation was a top priority for Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis.

Patronis, who also serves as the state’s fire marshal, toured the state and met with firefighters and talked to them about their experiences. He said the number of suicide attempts is higher among firefighters than the general population.

“After hearing from our first responder community, we fought hard so that they can now have access to mental health benefits,” Patronis said.

Rep. Matt Willhite sponsored the bill. His fulltime job is serving as a captain at Palm Beach County Fire Rescue.