Fire Fighting in Canada

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Widow of officer backs PTSD support bill

Oct. 28, 2015, Fredericton - The wife of one of the Moncton RCMP officers killed in the line of duty in June 2014 is calling on the New Brunswick government to support changes to the province's Workers Compensation Act.

Angela Gevaudan has written a letter to show her support for a proposed change dealing with first responders such as police officers, paramedics and firefighters who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.

In the letter to Premier Brian Gallant and her MLA, Roger Melanson, Gevaudan says Bill 15 would be a huge step towards helping first responders who suffer with PTSD and need the time and treatment to recover.

If passed, the bill would mean that if a first responder has PTSD it would be presumed, unless proven otherwise, to be the result of events they were exposed to as part of their work, and they would be offered treatment.

The Law Amendments Committee of the legislature meets Thursday afternoon to accept a consultant's report on the Bill.

Gevaudan says people with PTSD need time to recover, but often return to work too soon in order to feed their families and avoid losing their homes.

October 28, 2015
By The Canadian Press