Virginia lawmakers in both chambers will consider adding 911 dispatchers to the list of first responders who can file workers’ compensation claims for post-traumatic stress disorder based on the assumption that an incident witnessed on the job caused their mental illness, according to a pair of bills that submitted. during the last week.
HB 1631, introduced Saturday, adds “dispatchers” as qualified professionals.
SB 904, pre-filed Thursday and sent to committee, defines a “public safety telecommunicator” as “a person employed by a public safety telephone operator, an emergency medical service provider, or both, who is qualified to use communications systems to receive requests for emergency assistance and provide appropriate emergency response either directly or through communication with the appropriate public safety office or emergency medical care provider.”;
That bill also proposed adding language allowing diagnoses of “anxiety disorder” or “depressive disorder” to qualify for benefits.