A North Dakota bill aimed at improving workers’ compensation eligibility for firefighters and law enforcement officers was signed into law Monday by Gov. Doug Burgum.
The measure, House Bill 1279, revises current law by adding a new list of illnesses and diseases that qualify as presumptive work injuries for first responders, and it recognizes years of out-of-state service for firefighters with presumptive injuries.
Previously, firefighters had to have worked in such a role in the state for at least five years to qualify for a presumptive comp injury. While the five-year duration remains in effect as a requirement, it will now recognize years of firefighting service in other states.
The new law provides compensation for heart attacks, strokes, vascular ruptures or similar cardiac events that occur within 48 hours of full-time firefighters or police officers engaging in a strenuous job-related activity.
The bill passed unanimously in both chambers. It includes a retroactive clause to cover cases of one police officer and two firefighters previously denied coverage because of the length of service requirement, according to the governor̵7;s office.