As thousands of new COVID-19 cases continue to be announced nationwide almost every day, the Professional Fire Fighters of Utah (PFFU) has been working hard to protect its members.
Most recently, state association leaders successfully lobbied for the passage of legislation which will give fire fighters, other first responders and health care personnel workers’ compensation coverage if they are diagnosed with the virus.
“No one is immune to COVID-19. We have done our best to ensure our members have the proper PPE and protocols to reduce the likelihood of exposure,” says PFFU President Jack Tidrow. “But, if our members do get sick, this legislation allows them to get the assistance they need to get better and back on the job.”
Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed the bill June 25. It is retroactive to March 21, 2020, and expires June 1, 2021, but can be extended if needed.
To date, nearly 19,400 Utahns have been diagnosed with COVID-19 (11 of them PFFU members). On June 25, the state posted its second-biggest single-day increase with 590 new cases.
In addition to approving new workers’ compensation protections, Governor Hebert issued a requirement for citizens to wear masks in public in Salt Lake and Summit counties, the state’s two hot spots. He warned if this strategy does not slow the spread that more severe measures will be taken.