A bill that is currently circulating through the Pennsylvania Statehouse could authorize active-duty firefighters to receive compensation for their on-the-job injuries through the State Workers' Insurance Fund (SWIF). If lawmakers were to pass this legislation, there would be a significant impact for members of volunteer fire companies. Many have historically had to pay their own medical bills after getting hurt on the job.
The goal of the state senator who first introduced the bill is for legislators to clarify who is covered by SWIF. He notes that right now, many volunteer firefighters receive calls at all times of the day and night asking them to help fight a fire. They do so without hesitating. He notes that they shouldn't have to worry about what happens if they get hurt fighting fires.
If passed, there should be no denials of claims filed by volunteer fire company directors. Active-duty police, firefighters and other first responders should be successful in filing their claims as well. This means that at least 90% of those who work for Pennsylvania's 2,000-plus fire companies would be protected if they get hurt on the job.
So far, the Senate Labor and Industry Committee has passed Senate Bill (SB) 94. It's now up to the members at large to cast their votes. It's unclear when the matter will come before them.
There are many different types of compensation that you may qualify for if you're hurt on the job here in Dauphin or in other parts of Pennsylvania. A workplace injuries attorney can review your case and let you know what type of compensation you may qualify to receive in your unique case.