SACRAMENTO – On March 8, 2021, California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) Senior Vice President Tina Brazil and Senior Counsel Ryan Navarre testified in support of CSLEA-sponsored Senate Bill 284 - An act to amend Section 3212.15 of the Labor Code, relating to workers’ compensation introduced by Senator Henry Stern (D-Malibu). Their testimony was presented during a Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee hearing.
Senator Stern commended the first responders SB 284 intends to help, recognizing the traumatic qualities of their profession and reminding the committee members “these real people who go home at night, let’s stand up for the people who stand up for us.”
CSLEA Senior Counsel Navarre explained that SB 284 is largely a clean-up bill the provides Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) as a presumption for Workers’ Compensation, presuming an worker is telling the truth when filing for worker’s comp as it pertains to PTSD and putting the burden on the employer.
CSLEA Senior Vice President Tina Brazil, also president of the CHP-Public Safety Dispatchers Association (CHP-PSDA), testified to the emotional stress dispatchers suffer when handling calls such as suicides, wildfire victims escaping flames, people trapped and dying, and people making emotional pleas for life-saving help.
“This is a very rewarding career but can most definitely can result in post-traumatic stress disorder,” said Brazil. “When that happens, we need something for our dispatchers that will help them. If their PTSD symptoms overwhelm their physical and/or mental well- being, we must care for them as they have cared for so many in need of emergency assistance.”
SB 284 addresses Workers’ Compensation relating to a Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) presumption, adding additional first responders in California to the list of those who are already covered by the workers’ compensation system in this regard.
Under SB 284, Section 3212.15 of the Labor Code would be amended to include public safety dispatchers, operators and emergency communication employees, as well as all BU7 peace officers and fire fighters.
SB 284 Sponsors include:
- California Professional Firefighters,
SB 284 passed the Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee 4-0, with Senator Ochoa Bogh abstaining.
CSLEA and CHP-PSDA invite you to view CHP Public Safety Dispatchers and Operators – You hear their voices, now see their faces for a real feel of what it is like to work as a public safety dispatcher.