FL Takes on New PTSD Training Initiative for First Responders

FJ Thomas

Tallahassee, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) – Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis has rolled out a new PTSD Training Initiative for employers of first responders across the state, which aligns with Senate Bill 376.

For more WorkersCompensation.com coverage on SB 376, click here.

Patronis introduced the initiative in a short YouTube video, here. “Today (Sept. 17) we are rolling out our PTSD training for our firefighters and first responders and law enforcement to help diagnose and identify and save lives,” he said.

The new law, co-sponsored by Senator Dana Young, provides work comp coverage for PTSD to first responders. It was passed in March and goes into effect today, Oct. 1.

It also requires employers of first responders to provide educational training on mental health awareness, prevention, and treatment.

Previously, PTSD was only covered if it was accompanied by a physical injury that required treatment.

A recent article from NCCI states that 55% of the population will experience a traumatic event, of which 7-8% will develop PTSD, according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

The National Center for Biotechnical Information found the incidence of PTSD in EMTs was around 20% and 7-37% for Firefighters, per NCCI.

According to SB 376 text, there are specific guidelines that need to be followed for a PTSD diagnosis.

“…the compensable physical injury must be and remain the major contributing cause of the mental or nervous condition and the compensable physical injury as determined by reasonable medical certainty must be at least 50 percent responsible for the mental or nervous condition as compared to all other contributing causes combined,” per bill text.

“Compensation is not payable for the mental, psychological, or emotional injury arising out of depression from being out of work or losing employment opportunities, resulting from a preexisting mental, psychological, or emotional condition or due to pain or other subjective complaints that cannot be substantiated by objective, relevant medical findings.”

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