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Pennsylvania Congressman Hopes To Better Protect Families Of Volunteer First Responders

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BENSALEM, Pa. (CBS) - A local congressman wants to close a loophole in the law to protect the family of a volunteer first responder who died while responding to an emergency call in Bensalem last year.

Bucks County Congressman Michael Fitzpatrick is working to change the existing policy for volunteer first responders and their families. Currently, only police, fire fighters and medics who are paid by a government agency receive benefits if they die in the line of duty. The issue was inspired by Danny McIntosh who left behind a wife and two young children after an on call chase caused his fatal heart attack. Fitzpatrick says it’s just wrong that McIntosh’s family is not entitled to collect the benefits.

“Had he died on the job as a police officer right down the road in Hulmeville or had he been a paramedic employed by a city or a municipal government, his family would have been able to, but because he was a volunteer, they can not,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick.

If approved, the bill would be retroactive to cover McIntosh’s family. His wife, Bethann says she hopes this will keep her husbands memory alive, and bring help to other families who may have to deal with a similar tragedy.

Reported by Brad Segall, KYW Newsradio

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