It's a fact that a job as a firefighter, EMT, police officer or other first responder is extremely stressful. There is a risk every day of violence, injury, and even death. First responders are often at the scenes of traumatic events like accidents, violent crimes and fires. All of these factors can add up Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD.) While it might seem obvious that PTSD in first responders is most likely job-related, the fact is that many organizations do not cover PTSD under their worker's compensation insurance. This leaves these brave workers to cope on their own with the trauma they are exposed to, or find a different career.
Recently firefighters in New Hampshire petitioned the state legislature to require insurance companies to consider PTSD as a work-related condition in first responders. They were unsuccessful; however, the state has passed legislation that funds a commission to study PTSD in first responders. There is already a tremendous amount of research that shows how the trauma of working as a police officer, firefighter or EMT can affect those on the job, so NH first responders are hopeful that the commission will require coverage in the future.