Legislative Victory! Fire Police Fairness Act Passes House and Senate as Part of PSOB Reform Bill
November 16, 2021
On October 27, the House of Representatives passed the Protecting America’s First Responders Act (S. 1511). Then on November 4, the Senate voted unanimously to agree to the House version of the bill. S. 1511 now goes to President Biden to be signed into law.
“I’d like to thank Senator Grassley and Representative Pascrell, along with the many bipartisan cosponsors of the Protecting America’s First Responders Act, for their leadership in introducing and getting Congress to pass this important legislation,” said National Volunteer Fire Council chair Steve Hirsch. “I’d also like to thank Senator Toomey for his work to ensure that the Fire Police Fairness Act was included in the bill.”
S.1511 has been a legislative priority since it was introduced last April. The bill contains language clarifying that members of fire departments who provide traffic incident management services, often referred to as fire police, are public safety officers and eligible to receive the Public Safety Officers’ Benefit (PSOB). The bill also makes it easier to qualify for PSOB Disability and extends for two years a presumption that public safety officers who die from COVID-19 contracted the virus in the line of duty.