Lawmakers Push For More Confidential Counseling for Mass. First Responders

Dec 17, 2018

Massachusetts lawmakers are pushing ahead on a bill that would give first responders better access to confidential counseling. This comes in the wake of the death of an on-duty firefighter in Worcester.

Firefighters, police officers and EMTs in Massachusetts who are involved in a traumatic incident on the job can meet with a peer counselor — a person in the same field trained to provide mental health support.

A bill just passed by the state Senate would require that what first responders share stays private.

State Senator Michael Moore represents part of Worcester County and said the fire in Worcester makes the need clear.

One firefighter died and five others who were trapped made it out alive.

"They may have issues that they want to deal with and they want to speak to someone that they know it's not going get back to other officers," Moore said. "You know, at times in our life, we all need to talk to someone." 

The bill now goes to the House. If it signs off, the legislation would go to Governor Charlie Baker.