Lamont signs PTSD coverage for police and fire

Hartford

(WTNH)– Ever since the tragedy at Sandy Hook, there has been a realization that first responders often need help with Post Traumatic Stress. Governor Lamont signed a new law Wednesday that adds PTSD treatment for the state’s firefighters and police officers.

According to some estimates; nearly 20 percent of all firefighters and police officers may suffer from some form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder during their career. It can be especially acute among those that witness death and body mutilation.

It is this type of Post Traumatic Stress Injury that the law the Governor signed today is designed to address. A recognition that it’s really Post Traumatic Stress Injury.

The Governor saying, “PTSI, it is an injury and physical and mental are the same and they’re both ailments and we both have to deal with that in a real way.”

It was an especially important day for Trish Buchanan. Her husband Paul was a decorated East Hartford Police officer who suffered from depression.

Trish saying, “He was really afraid of losing his job, losing his badge and his gun and sadly he ended up taking his own life in 2013 and it’s been my mission since then. He left us a note that said, ‘make my death
an issue and help others that are like me’.”

Estimates also indicate that even a higher percentage of Correction Officer and commercial ambulance Emergency Medical Technicians may also suffer PTSD.

This law does not cover them but includes language to study a possible expansion of coverage to include them as well as volunteer ambulance associations.

Jody Barr of A.F.S.C.M.E. Council 4 saying, “We look forward to moving next year and getting our Correction Officers, our dispatchers and our EMTs the same service.

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