Posted on May 4, 2023
HARTFORD – On Thursday State Representative Ben McGorty (R-122) spent the day advocating for firefighters, emergency response workers, and first responders in a series of showings of support through legislative work.
As Co-Chair of the bipartisan Fire & EMS Caucus, Rep. McGorty and co-Chair Rep. Michael Quinn (D-Meriden) led their first meeting of the 2023 legislative session. The meeting welcomed new and returning members who explained their dedication to supporting firefighters, EMS workers, and their legislative priorities. Additionally, members of the firefighting community joined the caucus to offer insight from an industry perspective on current legislation.
On the House floor, representatives debated a series of bills including H.B. 6553 – An Act Concerning Volunteer Fire Departments and Ambulance Companies and the Definition of Employer Under the State Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA). As a strong supporter of the legislation, Rep. McGorty offered a yes vote and spoke at length with legislative colleagues about the benefits that HB 6553 will provide to volunteer fire departments. The bill aims to include volunteer departments under OSHA regulatory status to enhance their mandated safety protocols. The bill passed by an overwhelming 140-1 vote.
“It is a top priority of mine in the legislature to be a strong advocate for firefighters, EMS workers, and all first responders and public safety personnel. When we have an opportunity to pass legislation which will make our volunteers and our communities safer with necessary oversight, we must take that step to protect them,” Rep. McGorty said. “Thank you to my colleagues who joined us today for a successful Fire & EMS caucus meeting as well as for supporting this bipartisan safety legislation.”
Rep. McGorty remarked on the House floor to honor firefighters across the world on May 4th, which is International Firefighters Day.