PTSD Update – Legislative Lobby for PTSD Coverage for Fire Fighters, Police Officers and Paramedics
December 12, 2014
To: All Members of Local 867
From: Alex Forrest, President
As you may already know, the Provincial NDP government announced in the recent throne speech that one of their legislative agendas to be done in the next few months will be that of passing new legislation to enable PTSD to be part of the presumptive injuries coverage for fire fighters, police and paramedics. What this will do is enable greater access to Workers Compensation support for firefighters, police officers and paramedics who are diagnosed with PTSD.
This will make it easier for emergency workers to file a WCB claim on this issue and have it accepted. We have had good discussions with the government over the last few months and we are hopeful that this legislation will be introduced and passed very early in the New Year.
The importance of this legislation cannot be emphasised enough. What it does is give greater support and educational opportunities for emergency workers who are dealing with PTSD, which can be treated and managed if dealt with within the appropriate time frame and with proper support.
We would like to thank Fire Fighters Ed Wiebe and Chad Swayze who have personally contributed to this lobbying effort by describing what this disease is and how it affects Fire Fighters. We would also like to thank Premier Selinger and the NDP for their leadership on this issue.
Further to this issue, we are now in final negotiations with the City of Winnipeg to create a proper wellness fitness program that will be voluntary and non-punitive. It will concentrate on support for wellness fitness issues for Fire Fighters, as mental health is just as important as physical issues.