Governor Walz Signs Bill Protecting Health and Wellbeing of Minnesota Firefighters
ST. PAUL, MN (STL.News) Governor Tim Walz signed Chapter 49, HF 2746 into law, which helps to ensure that Minnesota firefighters continue to have access to much-needed resources to protect their physical and mental health. Governor Walz signed the Hometown Heroes Assistance Program into law in July 2021, dedicating $4 million per year so that Minnesota firefighters have access to the education, prevention, and care to handle a cardiac, emotional trauma, or cancer diagnosis.
“Minnesota’s brave firefighters put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe,” said Governor Walz. “I was proud to sign a bill into law last year to help ensure Minnesota’s firefighters have the resources they need to protect their health and wellbeing as they make a difference in their communities. This bill shows that the work isn’t done and that our firefighters continue to be a top priority here at the Capitol.”
The bill clarifies which firefighters with critical illness diagnoses are eligible for payments from the program and transfers the responsibility for issuing grants to manage the program from the Office of Justice Programs to the State Fire Marshal.
The Hometown Heroes Assistance Program is the most comprehensive in the nation of its kind, providing firefighters with free access to emotional trauma resources, up to $20,000 from critical illness insurance policies, and ongoing health and wellness training, including evidence-based suicide prevention strategies.