All of us at MnFIRE are thrilled to announce that the Minnesota legislature passed the Hometown Heroes Assistance Program this week. This is a hard-fought, long-in-the-works win for the state’s fire service, and will ensure that every Minnesota firefighter will have access to education, prevention and care needed to handle a cardiac, emotional trauma or cancer diagnosis.
While a few final details are still being worked out, the Hometown Heroes Assistance Program will:
- Provide a statewide “Critical Care” policy for all Minnesota firefighters which covers diagnoses of cancer or cardiac issues. Coverage amount is $20,000 per diagnosis.
- Create a MnFIRE Assistance Program (MnAP) for all Minnesota firefighters targeting emotional trauma issues unique to the fire service, and ensure additional support for firefighters who remain in need beyond initial treatment sessions.
- Support ongoing annual MnFIRE Awareness training for every Minnesota firefighter. Changing the current culture in the Minnesota Fire Service is integral to long-term reduction of the incidences of cancer, emotional trauma and cardiac.
- Sustain annual MnFIRE Awareness Training for medical doctors and mental health professionals statewide so all firefighters in Minnesota have regional access to informed and trained medical professionals to help with prevention, mitigation, diagnosis and treatment of cancer, cardiac and emotional trauma.
Just like the fire service response to an emergency, it has taken a team effort to reach this milestone. This has been a fabulous statewide collaboration by legislators, fire service folks and the general public.
A heartfelt thank you to everyone who participated in making the Hometown Heroes Assistance Program become a reality. Stay tuned for more details!