PENDING LEGISLATION WOULD CLARIFY THAT FIRE POLICE ARE ELIGIBLE FOR PSOB
June 25, 2012
Fire police officers perform a vital public safety function, assisting emergency services agencies by performing traffic incident management duties at the scene of emergencies, drills, and planned special events. The Fire Police Fairness Act (S. 1315/H.R. 1348) establishes “fire police officer” as a new category of public safety officer defined as an individual who, “is serving in accordance with State or local law as an officially recognized or designated member of a legally organized public safety agency…” and “…provides scene security or directs traffic in response to any fire drill, fire call, or other fire, rescue, or police emergency; or at a planned special event.”
Firefighters or police officers killed while performing traffic incident management duties qualify for the Public Safety Officers’ Benefit (PSOB). However, because fire police are not specifically recognized in the portion of the U.S. Code that establishes PSOB, the Department of Justice has determined that they are not eligible. The Fire Police Fairness Act would fix this inequity.
The House version of the bill, H.R. 1348, was introduced in April 2011 by Congressman Joe Courtney (D-CT) and currently has 22 co-sponsors. Senate companion legislation, S. 1315, was introduced in June 2011 by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and has four co-sponsors as of now.
The NVFC actively supports the Fire Police Fairness Act. You can ask your U.S. Representative and Senators to co-sponsor H.R. 1348/S. 1315 using the NVFC’s Capwiz service. Just follow this link, review the draft message we’ve posted, enter your contact information and click ’Send Message.’ Capwiz will generate an e-mail to all of your federal elected officials asking them to support the Fire Police Fairness Act.
Fire Police Fairness Act introduced in Congress
The bill clarifies that the families of fire police officers killed in the line of duty are eligible to receive the Public Safety Officers Benefit
May 15, 2013
GREENBELT, Md. — On Monday, May 6, Congressman Joe Courtney, along with a bi-partisan group of nine original co-sponsors, introduced the Fire Police Fairness Act.
The bill clarifies that fire police officers, who perform traffic incident management duties at the scene of emergencies, drills, and planned special events as officially recognized or designated members of a legally organized public safety agency, are public safety officers and qualify for the Public Safety Officers Benefit (PSOB) should they be killed or be rendered permanently disabled as a result of an injury suffered in the line of duty.
National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) Connecticut Director Robert Guthrie thanked Congressman Courtney for introducing the bill at a public event at the Gales Ferry (CT) Volunteer Fire Company to announce introduction of the bill.
“The NVFC supports the Fire Police Fairness Act, which clarifies that the families of fire police officers killed in the line of duty are eligible to receive the Public Safety Officers Benefit,” said Guthrie.
“Fire police perform a vital public safety function. The way that the Department of Justice has chosen to interpret the existing statute, if a firefighter and a fire police officer are directing traffic at the same emergency and both are struck and killed by a vehicle, only the firefighter’s family would receive PSOB. In those rare unfortunate instances where fire police officers are killed in the line of duty, it is only fair that their families should be eligible for this benefit.”
Congressman Courtney was joined by Democratic Representatives Rosa DeLauro (CT), Elizabeth Etsy (CT), James Himes (CT), John Larson (CT), Mike McIntyre (NC), and Paul Tonko (NY) as well as Republican Representatives Michael Fitzpatrick (PA), Patrick Meehan (PA), and Glenn Thompson (PA) in introducing the bill. The NVFC thanks Mr. Courtney and all of the original co-sponsors of the Fire Police Fairness Act for their leadership and support for this critical legislation.
Sponsor:Rep. Courtney, Joe [D-CT-2] (Introduced 10/03/2017)
Committees:House - Judiciary
Latest Action:House - 10/13/2017 Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.