House Approves Key Bills to Help Support NC Firefighters
The Republican-led House is committed to providing North Carolina firefighters with the support and resources they need and deserve. These brave men and women put their lives on the line every day in service to their communities and it is critical that their needs are being met.
This week, the House passed several important bills to assist firefighters throughout the state, including legislation to expand workers’ compensation to include PTSD, ban training with firefighting foam that causes cancer and allow fire trucks to use flashing blue lights when on the scene of an accident.
House Bill 355
House Bill 355 would prohibit certain firefighting foams that contain toxic chemicals linked to cancer for training, practice, or testing purposes and require nonfluorinated or other non-fluorinated substitute training foams to be used instead. Primary bill sponsor, Rep. Ted Davis (R-New Hanover), said during the bill’s debate on the House floor, that, “This bill is very important for the safety of our firefighters throughout the state of North Carolina. ”
House Bill 448
House Bill 448 would authorize the use of blue lights on the rear of publicly owned fire trucks when the parking brake is engaged, and the vehicle's on-scene lights are engaged. According to the primary bill sponsor, Rep. Larry Potts (R-Davidson), the goal of the legislation to cut down on drunk or distracted drivers crashing into stopped fire trucks.
House Bill 492
House Bill 492 would entitle first responders to workers' compensation benefits for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in certain situations regardless of whether the injuries are accompanied by physical injuries. Primary bill sponsor, Rep. Donna White (R-Johnston), said during the bill’s debate on the House floor that due to the growing number deaths by suicide with firefighters and first responders that this legislation will expand much-needed access to mental health support.