In the 111th Congress, the IAFC has continued to raise Congressional awareness of the Volunteer Firefighter and EMS Job Protection Act, introduced by Senators Tom Carper (D-DE) and Susan Collins (R-ME) in May 2009. This legislation is important to the entire fire service—volunteer and career—because it will help volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel to respond to a Stafford Act-declared national emergency or major disaster for up to 14 days without fear of losing their primary employment.
Under the bill, employers won’t be required to compensate employees for time missed while responding to an event, but will be required to let them keep their jobs when they return. Employees will be required to make a reasonable effort to notify their employers that they’ll miss work and continue to provide reasonable updates over the course of their absence. Furthermore, the bill will only apply to emergency responders acting in an official capacity, keeping those who self-dispatch from abusing the legislation’s goals.
Contact your elected legislators and ask them to cosponsor and approve Volunteer Firefighter and EMS Job Protection Act (S. 1025) into law.