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County Backs House Bill 324 Protecting Firefighters

04/03/2019

Bernalillo County leadership is supporting the governor’s signing of House Bill 324 adding Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to the list of conditions that can be covered by worker’s compensation.

Bernalillo County is already leading the state in increasing behavioral health awareness and treatment options through an already implemented internal peer support program that assists fire and rescue personnel 24-hours a day with personal and job-related challenges. The addition of HB 324 bolsters the county’s support of its first responders.

“As a licensed mental health therapist, I know and understand the stresses that our first responders encounter and the debilitating effects of PTSD,” says County Commissioner Charlene Pyskoty. “I will continue to ensure that our firefighters and paramedics have access to the treatment they need and deserve.”

The new legislation will aid all firefighters and paramedics with accessing professional treatment and brings New Mexico to the forefront in firefighter mental health awareness.

Additionally, the governor signed a bill authorizing funding to address interoperable radio systems in the county. This would allow two-way radio systems currently in use by county first responders to utilize other systems, such as phone networks, to bridge communication gaps.

“Bernalillo County District 5 encompasses the East Mountains, which holds dead zones for communication, creating health and safety risks. This funding will help us build a communication system that will protect our communities as well as our first responders, giving them the resources they need to do their jobs efficiently and effectively,” says Commissioner Pyskoty.

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