In July 2021, the state legislature passed the Hometown Heroes Assistance Program (HHAP), which dedicates $4 million per year to ensure that every Minnesota firefighter will have access to the education, prevention and care needed to handle a cardiac, emotional trauma or cancer diagnosis.
This is the most comprehensive firefighter well-being legislation in the nation, combining three vital resources that are currently available to all active volunteer, paid-on-call, part-time and full-time Minnesota firefighters for free:
MnFIRE Assistance Program (MAP)
Confidential help is available over the phone or online, anytime for any firefighter and/or their family. The MnFIRE Assistance Program (MAP) targets emotional health and stress unique to the fire service through connection to mental health care and peer support.
Phone lines are answered 24/7 and provide confidential support, guidance and mental health resources. Any member of a firefighter’s household, including children living away from home, can access the MAP. Effective October 1, 2021, each firefighter and/or their family members can access up to five counseling visits a year (additional support is ensured as needed). Firefighters are also matched with a member of MnFIRE’s team of trained Peer Supporters who know firsthand the difficulties firefighters face and are well-equipped to walk alongside a firefighter in need as they navigate their situation.
For more details or for help, call 888-784-6634 or visit liveandworkwell.com, access code: MnFIRE.
MnFIRE Critical Illness Program
All Minnesota firefighters have been automatically enrolled in a statewide Critical Illness insurance policy which covers diagnoses of cancer, cardiac or other critical illnesses, and provides a lump-sum cash payment up to $20,000 to assist with expenses. For instance, if you have a heart attack either on the job or mowing the yard, you can receive a cash payout to help manage expenses like medical bills and travel costs to and from specialist visits.
The effective date is August 1, 2021, which means all qualified claims for diagnosed illnesses from that date on are eligible. For more information or to file a claim, call 888-784-6634 or visit securian.com/mnfire-insurance.
Free annual MnFIRE Awareness training on the different health risks facing firefighters is already available for every Minnesota firefighter, and the Hometown Heroes Assistance Program allows us to provide additional awareness and cardiac, emotional wellness and cancer deep-dive trainings to keep the momentum going.
The Hometown Heroes Assistance Program also funds annual MnFIRE Awareness trainings for medical doctors and mental health professionals statewide. This ensures that all firefighters in Minnesota have regional access to informed and trained medical professionals to help with prevention, mitigation, diagnosis and treatment of cancer, emotional trauma and cardiac issues.