Missouri is thinking about giving firefighters access to a program to help them deal with traumatic events. Sen. Karla May, D-St. Louis, wants firefighters to have access to the program that law enforcement officers are already given.

“This is a program that I created in 2021 which was passed as part of Senate Bill 53 and 60,” she said. “The inception of this idea began with delivering effective mental health support to our state’s officers.”

Services under the Critical Incident Stress Management Program may include consultation, risk assessment, education, intervention, and other crisis intervention services. Peace officers and firefighters would be required to meet with a service provider once every three-to-five years for a mental health check-in.

“In my view and in continued conversations with public safety officials, firefighters are in need of this same support as well. Missouri’s firefighters and peace officers stand on the front lines to defend us from tragedy,” testified May. “Oftentimes, these tragedies stay with an officer, a firefighter, long after the workday is over.”

No one testified against her bill, which a state Senate committee could soon vote on.

“This legislation will ensure that both peace officers and firefighters in Missouri do not have to handle these traumatic events alone,” May said. “Senate Bill 760 sends a message to first responders in this state that we are with you.”

Click here for more information on SB 760.

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