Protecting the men and women
who protect us
by Senator Jack Wagner
As a Marine Corps combat veteran of the Vietnam War
and as a former paramedic, I understand the
importance of supporting our military personnel and first
responders. To that end, I have introduced Senate Bill
1089 to provide death benefits for the families of National
Guard members, firefighters, ambulance service or rescue
squad members, and law enforcement officers who suffer
a fatal heart attack or stroke while on duty or less than 24
hours after participating in a physical training exercise or
responding to an emergency.
I have introduced two other bills to strengthen benefits
and training specifically for firefighters. Senate Bill 1088
would extend workersí compensation benefits to
firefighters for diseases caused by chemical exposure.
Senate Bill 1082 would create the Municipal Firefighter
Education and Training Program, modeled after a similar
program that currently trains police officers.
Last spring, I fought to give military personnel the right to
cancel their housing rental agreements without the
financial penalty when new orders take them away from
home, whether those orders are given in wartime or not. I
am proud to have helped move this bill out of the Senate
Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee
and onto the Governorís desk. Fittingly, the bill became
law on Independence Day 2004 as Act 65 of 2004.