Bill to Help Mass. First Responders Get Help Continues to Stall - NECN


The latest news from around the state

Bill to Help Mass. First Responders Get Help Continues to Stall



    Call for Help for First Responders

    Many first responders feel they can ask for help without losing their jobs. A bill that could help is stuck at the State House

    (Published Thursday, March 1, 2018)

    Massachusetts first responders say they are stressed and know if they ask for help, they could lose their job. House Bill 1242 would allow emergency responders to get help -- peer to peer support. By law, it would remain confidential.

    Thirty-two representatives have signed on in support. It has support of eight unions representing police, fire and EMS. That includes the Massachusetts Chief of Police Association.

    The bill has stalled three years in a row. Theodore Speliotis chairs the committee where the bill is stalled again.

    "We are getting closer," Speliotis said.

    First Victim of Florida Bridge Collapse Identified

    [NATL] First Victim of Florida Bridge Collapse Identified

    College freshman Alexa Duran died Thursday in the Miami bridge collapse, officials have confirmed. Duran was killed as she was driving home from a doctor’s appointment and the bridge collapsed on top of her car. Her friend Richard Humble was in the passenger’s seat and survived.

    (Published Friday, March 16, 2018)

    One concern has been transparency.

    "In the legislation, it says no criminal acts can be protected," Speliotis said.

    He wants to be sure "that the public is protected knowing there is appropriate transparency within our first responders."

    The bill also requires no money.

    Our reports highlight the need for help.

    "With cops, if we come forward, we lose our gun, our job, our credibility," said retired Boston Police Sgt. Brian Fleming.

    Pedro Portal/TNS via Getty Images

    Karen Solomon of Worcester founded Blue Help, which offers assistance to officers. She says in Massachusetts

    "Recently, an officer reached out for help and he needed psychological help and his department fired him," she said.

    Firefighters in Worcester confirm on the job, "You will be exposed to post traumatic stress."

    Speliotis says no one has come forward with any opposition.

    "To me, the most credible people are the police chiefs endorsing the legislation," he said. "They're the superiors."

    "I am stunned and frustrated it hasn't passed," Peabody Police Chief Tom Griffin told NBC10 Boston Investigators. "People we are trying to help are hesitating and they don't get the help they need."

    Why Your Pre-Schooler Is Leading Your March Madness Bracket

    [NATL] Why Your Pre-Schooler Is Leading Your March Madness Bracket

    Most people didn’t have Marshall upsetting Wichita State in the men’s NCAA Tournament — that is, unless you have a pre-schooler who happens to watch “Paw Patrol.” Find out how a cartoon pup may have your kid winning your bracket.

    (Published 6 hours ago)

    Speliotis says he is advocating for the bill. There are three people on the committee for third readings.

    "I am advocating," he said. "I am pushing my colleagues and I am kind of hoping they can move the bill."

    Meanwhile, first responders sent a letter to every lawmaker asking the bill to pass. The letter listed traumatic events such as officers being shot and other EMS calls as examples of why they need help.

    Get the latest from necn anywhere, anytime

    • Download the App

      Available for IOS and Android