Chantilly, Va. ‐ Yesterday evening, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to provide critical resources to local fire and EMS personnel. The Helping Emergency Responders Overcome (HERO) Act (H.R. 1646) will develop peer mental health training programs and resources to educate mental health professionals about active and retired firefighters' needs. The bill will also create a national data system to collect information about first responder suicides to better treat those in need of assistance. The bill was sponsored by Representative Ami Bera (D-California) and cosponsored by 89 House members.
"I thank the House for addressing this important issue for America's first responders," said Chief Richard Carrizzo, the President and Chairman of the Board of the International Association of Fire Chiefs. "America's fire and EMS personnel are on the front lines every day serving their community in response to COVID-19, wildland fires, hurricanes, and civil unrest along with daily fire and EMS calls. The research and capabilities provided by the HERO Act will help our nation's heroes cope with the stress and strain of a physically-tiring and emotionally draining profession. I urge the Senate to pass this legislation quickly so that President Trump can sign it."
Ken LaSala, Director, Government Relations and Policy
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About the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC): The IAFC represents the leadership of firefighters and emergency responders worldwide. IAFC members are the world's leading experts in firefighting, emergency medical services, terrorism response, hazardous response, natural disasters, search and rescue, and public safety legislation. Since 1873, the IAFC has provided a forum for its members to exchange ideas, develop professionally, and uncover the latest products and services available to first responders.