Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) today joined Senator Joe Manchin (D- W.Va.) in cosponsoring legislation to protect federal firefighters in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The COVID-19 as a Presumptive Disease in Wildland Firefighters Act would make it easier for firefighters to obtain workman’s compensation coverage in the case of infection due to their work.
“As this year’s wildfire season intensifies, we need to make sure to protect federal firefighters who are battling these blazes, living and working in intense conditions in close proximity to their fellow firefighters. This bill ensures that if firefighters contract COVID-19 on the job, they have access to every available resource. Protecting firefighters in turn protects the public by making sure they are able to continue serving their communities and answering the call to keep homes, businesses, and rangelands safe from wildfire.”
The COVID-19 as a Presumptive Disease in Wildland Firefighters Act ensures that firefighters can get workman’s compensation coverage if they contract COVID-19. Quickening the workman’s comp process could significantly help alleviate existing concerns among the firefighting workforce and ensure members of the public and their livelihoods remain protected.