Emergency responders will soon have an easier time gaining access to medical treatment for communicable diseases.
Legislation signed this week by the Governor allows for the presumption that emergency responders who contract a disease, such as Hepatitis or HIV were exposed while in the line of duty. The distinction would allow them to access disability benefits right away, rather than having to first prove they were infected while working.
State Senator Jim Sullivan (D-Wauwatosa), a sponsor of the bill, says it’s an issue that doesn’t come up very often. However, he says those who put their lives at risk every day to protect the public shouldn’t have to worry about their job security if they contract a life changing illness.
The bill provides protections similar to those already in place for emergency workers who develop serious illnesses such as heart and lung disease.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:04)