Reporting Steve Tawa
By Brad Segall
BENSALEM, Pa. (CBS) - First responders in Bucks County are asking area residents to take to social media to contact their elected representatives and spread the word about legislation in Washington that would better protect the families of “volunteer” emergency medical personnel killed in the line of duty.
The legislation to close a loophole in the law was sparked by the death of Danny McIntosh nearly two years ago in Bensalem. He died on the job of a heart attack, but because he was a volunteer and not a paid employee, his family has been denied federal death benefits.
Congressman Michael Fitzpatrick is behind the bill which he says is currently languishing in the House Judiciary Committee.
“We’re not going to give up until we’ve done everything we can possibly do to get this law passed, so I remain hopeful,” Fitzpatrick says. “I’m an optimist and we’re not going to give up on Danny’s family.”
Fortunately, he says only a handful of EMT’s are killed in the line of duty in the country each year. He says the cost of the benefits would be paid through reforms that he says would be built into the Public Safety Officer Benefit program. He says that could include drug forfeiture money.